Snow-Covered Desert are rare, but that’s exactly what’s happening at the Taklimakan Desert in western China. An observation by Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite, as it passed over on Jan. 2, 2013. Image © NASA/Aqua
Snow has covered much of the desert since a storm blew through the area on Dec. 26.
The day after the storm, Chinese Central Television (CNTV) reported that the Xinjian Uygyr autonomous region was one of the areas hardest hit.
The mountains that enclose the sea of sand—the Tien Shan in the north and the Kunlun Shan in the south—were also covered with what appeared to be a significantly thicker layer of snow in January 2013.
The Taklamakan Desert, also known as Taklimakan and Teklimakan, is one of the world’s largest—and hottest—sandy deserts, in northwest China, in the southwest portion of the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region. It is bounded by the Kunlun Mountains to the south, and the desert Pamir Mountains and Tian Shan (ancient Mount Imeon) to the west and north.
View of the Taklamakan desert. Image © wikipedia
The Molcha (Moleqie) River forms a vast alluvial fan at the southern border of the Taklamakan Desert, as it leaves the Altyn-Tagh mountains and enters the desert in the western part of the Qiemo County. The left side appears blue from water flowing in many streams. The picture is taken in May, when the river is full with the snow/glacier meltwater.