The weather is a hot topic for many of us. Will it rain and ruin your freshly straightened hair? Does the frost mean you'll have to scrape the car windows in the morning? But that's nothing compared to some of the weird weather seen around the world...

Snow in the Sahara

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iStockphoto

In February 1979, some parts of the Sahara recorded their first snowfall in living memory. In southern Algeria, a half-hour snowstorm stopped the traffic. Then in January 2012, snow fell in several places in western Algeria. Some Saharan mountain ranges, however, get snow more regularly.

 

Raining fish

Weird weather raining fish

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Some scientists think ‘fish rain’ happens when swirling whirlwinds over quite shallow water develop into waterspouts and suck in almost anything in the water, including fish – and sometimes even eels or frogs. These then get dropped as ‘rain’. In March 2010, spangled perch fell out of the sky over a remote desert town in Australia. So far there have been no reports of actual cats and dogs! 

 

Volcanic lightning

Volcanic lightning

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An amazing, natural phenomenon that happens when lightning is produced in a volcanic plume. Electrical charges are generated when rock fragments, ash and ice particles in a volcanic plume collide and produce static charges, in the same way that ice particles collide in regular thunderstorms. It was seen recently in the 2010 ‘ash cloud’ eruptions of Eyjafjallajökull in Iceland.

 

Penitentes

Penitentes

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Tall, thin blades of hardened snow and ice that form at high altitudes and can be up to a couple of metres high. After a while, they transform into jagged fields which face the same direction as the sun. They are said to get their name because they look like penitent monks praying in pointed hats.

 

Green Flash

Green flash

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Not to be confused with the retro style of trainer, this happens very briefly before sunset and after sunrise and is best seen somewhere with a good view of the horizon, such as over the ocean. It appears as a green dot or flash above the sun and is caused by refraction of light in the atmosphere. At the South Pole, because the sun rises and sets so slowly, you can see the green flash for hours at a time.

 

Have you ever witnessed any weird weather? Let us know!