Last Updated: Mon Nov 01, 2010 20:01 pm (KSA) 17:01 pm (GMT)

Snow falls over Baghdad, first time in 100 years

A Baghdad resident seen here, Iraqis hail snow as omen of peace
A Baghdad resident seen here, Iraqis hail snow as omen of peace

Light snow fell in Baghdad early on Friday in what weather officials said was the first time in about a 100 years or in living memory.

Rare snowfalls were also recorded in the west and centre of Iraq, plunging temperatures to zero degrees Centigrade (32 degrees Fahrenheit) and even colder, an official said.

The snow in Baghdad, which melted as it hit the ground, began falling before dawn and continued until after 9 am, residents said.

"Snow has fallen in Baghdad for the first time in about a century as a result of two air flows meeting," said a statement by the meteorology department.

"The first one was cold and dry and the second one was warm and humid. They met above Iraq."

The director of the meteorology department, Dawood Shakir, told AFP that climate change was possibly to blame for the unusual event.

"It's very rare," he said. "Baghdad has never seen snow falling in living memory.

"These snowfalls are linked to the climate change that is happening everywhere. We are finding some places in the world which are warm and are supposed to be cold."

Snow was also reported in the mountainous Kurdish north of the country, where falls are common.

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