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Baghdad awakes to its first snowfall since 2008  

Baghdad awakes to its first snowfall since 2008  


Iraqis awoke to see Baghdad covered in snow for the first time in more than a decade today. 

Baghdad residents rushed to take pictures while youngsters had snowball fights after a cold wave from Europe sprinkled snow across the city. 

The city’s palm trees were outlined in white, while tents belonging to protesters in long-running anti-government demonstrations in Tahrir Square were also covered in snow.  

The last recorded snowfall in Baghdad was in 2008, but that was brief and mostly slushy. Before that, it had been a century since the capital saw any snowflakes. 

An Iraqi woman makes a snowball in her hand as snow covers the bonnet and windscreen of her car in Baghdad, where residents awoke today to the city’s first snowfall since 2008

An Iraqi girl plays with her mother in the snow in the Shiite holy city of Karbala today, which was covered by snow after what meteorologists described as a cold wave coming in from Europe

An Iraqi girl plays with her mother in the snow in the Shiite holy city of Karbala today, which was covered by snow after what meteorologists described as a cold wave coming in from Europe 

A man wearing a hood and a warm coat walks along a bridge during a snow storm in Mosul today, which was hit by heavier precipitation than the capital Baghdad

A man wearing a hood and a warm coat walks along a bridge during a snow storm in Mosul today, which was hit by heavier precipitation than the capital Baghdad 

An Iraqi boy wears a bobble hat covered in snow in Karbala today amid snowfall which is expected to continue until tomorrow

An Iraqi boy wears a bobble hat covered in snow in Karbala today amid snowfall which is expected to continue until tomorrow

Iraqis play in the snow in the city of Karbala, shaking snow off a tree while much of the park is powdered with snow

Iraqis play in the snow in the city of Karbala, shaking snow off a tree while much of the park is powdered with snow 

An Iraqi boy takes a blow during a snowball flight while a woman looks at her car which was blanketed by the snow in Baghdad

An Iraqi boy takes a blow during a snowball flight while a woman looks at her car which was blanketed by the snow in Baghdad

‘Snowfall may continue until Wednesday given the very cold weather,’ said Amer al-Jaberi of the Iraqi Meteorological Centre, explaining that the cold wave had come from Europe. 

People on their way to work stopped their cars to take pictures or break out into impromptu snowball fights. 

‘Thank God it is snowing this morning,’ said Aymen Ahmed, one of the Tahrir Square protesters. ‘The atmosphere is beautiful … the people are very happy because this is the first time snow falls in Iraq.’ 

South of the capital, snow also carpeted the Shiite holy city of Karbala which draws pilgrims from around the world to see its golden-domed mausoleums. 

Baghdad residents are more suited to heat, with a record temperature of 124F (51C) repeatedly coming under threat in recent years.  

A man cleans the snow off his windscreen in Baghdad which had not experienced any kind of snowfall since 2008

A man cleans the snow off his windscreen in Baghdad which had not experienced any kind of snowfall since 2008 

A palm tree in Karbala stands in a snow-covered park early this morning as many Iraqis woke to see snow for the first time

A palm tree in Karbala stands in a snow-covered park early this morning as many Iraqis woke to see snow for the first time

Two Iraqi boys have a snowball fight in Karbala, with many Iraqis stopping their cars to take pictures or play in the fallen snow

Two Iraqi boys have a snowball fight in Karbala, with many Iraqis stopping their cars to take pictures or play in the fallen snow

Protesters in long-running anti-government protests in Baghdad clean their tent after snow fell on Tahrir Square

Protesters in long-running anti-government protests in Baghdad clean their tent after snow fell on Tahrir Square 

Iraqis shake snow off a tree at a park in the holy Shiite city of Karbala, which is usually known for drawing pilgrims from around the world to see its golden-domed mausoleums

Iraqis shake snow off a tree at a park in the holy Shiite city of Karbala, which is usually known for drawing pilgrims from around the world to see its golden-domed mausoleums

One of the Tahrir Square protesters wipes snow off his tent in Baghdad today. Over 500 people have died in the protests as security forces used live rounds and tear gas to disperse crowds in Baghdad and southern Iraq

One of the Tahrir Square protesters wipes snow off his tent in Baghdad today. Over 500 people have died in the protests as security forces used live rounds and tear gas to disperse crowds in Baghdad and southern Iraq 

An Iraqi man with a scarf wrapped around his dead takes pictures on his smartphone during the snowfall early this morning in Baghdad

An Iraqi man with a scarf wrapped around his dead takes pictures on his smartphone during the snowfall early this morning in Baghdad 

Snowfall is more common in northern Iraq, where snow covered the war-battered city of Mosul, but in the centre and south there is rarely enough precipitation.   

In 2018, chronic water shortages sparked a health crisis in the centre and south but the following year, heavy rains caused deadly flooding and heavy damage to homes and crops.

Blistering temperatures then hit the north triggering wild fires and scorching crops.

Experts say Iraq lacks the funding or infrastructure to cope with climate change and the desertification of once productive land.  

Two men walk along a pavement in Baghdad early this morning while snow was falling in the city for the first time since 2008

Two men walk along a pavement in Baghdad early this morning while snow was falling in the city for the first time since 2008

Iraqi boys shake snow off a tree at a park in Karbala today, south of the capital Baghdad where snow is extremely rare

Iraqi boys shake snow off a tree at a park in Karbala today, south of the capital Baghdad where snow is extremely rare 

A young Iraqi man poses as a woman takes a picture of him on a smartphone, in a snow-covered park in Karbala today

A young Iraqi man poses as a woman takes a picture of him on a smartphone, in a snow-covered park in Karbala today

A young Iraqi man poses for a selfie in the park in Karbala where trees were also sprinkled with snow

A young Iraqi man poses for a selfie in the park in Karbala where trees were also sprinkled with snow 

One of the protesters in the long-running Tahrir Square demonstrations cleans the freshly fallen snow off his tent today

One of the protesters in the long-running Tahrir Square demonstrations cleans the freshly fallen snow off his tent today 

Baghdad's Karrada residential neighbourhood under snow fall today with snow covering trees and bushes

Baghdad’s Karrada residential neighbourhood under snow fall today with snow covering trees and bushes

An Iraqi youngster walks in the park in Karbala with some footprints visible today after snow covered the ground overnight

An Iraqi youngster walks in the park in Karbala with some footprints visible today after snow covered the ground overnight

A protester stands in the snow in Tahrir Square during anti-government protests in Baghdad

A protester stands in the snow in Tahrir Square during anti-government protests in Baghdad

Snow covers the letters spelling 'I love Karrada' in the residential neighbourhood of that name in Baghdad today

Snow covers the letters spelling ‘I love Karrada’ in the residential neighbourhood of that name in Baghdad today 

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