The Southwest corner of the country saw rare snowfall last week and the pictures are amazing.

By Jenny Krane

It's like something out of an apocalyptic movie—snow-covered cacti and sand dunes with white caps. This was the reality for Southwestern states like Arizona, Nevada, and California this past week. The Southwest's weird weather is just one of many natural phenomena to take over Instagram in the last few weeks, alongside Yosemite's rare 'firefall' and the ghost apples from February's polar vortex.

Extraordinary appearances were seen all over the place: Mountains a few miles from Malibu's beach saw a light dusting of snow, as did the Southern Califonia desert. Las Vegas saw its first snow in ten years, and Tuscan in six years. Flagstaff got a record three feet of snow. The mountains throughout the region got several feet of snow at higher altitudes.

Throughout these rare snowstorms, it's not surprising that people stopped to snap pictures. The combination of the desert landforms and plants with the unexpected white layers of snow make for some jaw-dropping photos.

The prickly pear cacti and saguaros sticking out of the snow add unexpected beauty to this mountainous landscape. This was taken in the Superstition Mountains east of Phoenix, Arizona.

Joshua Tree National Park in Southern California saw blankets of sparkly white snow. The iconic whimsical-looking Joshua trees look stunning with caps of white at the end of each branch. Also, can we talk about that sunset?

It's amazing how different the same location can look in just 24 hours. This Arizona hiker took the same shot one day apart to show how the desert bounced back after the storm—the 60-degree weather was back the next day and melted everything as if the snow never happened.

Red Rock Canyon in the Mojave Desert just outside Las Vegas had inches of snowfall, completely covering the low-growing green growth at the foothills. This Instagrammer captured the clouds and blowing snow surrounding the mountains.

Las Vegas residents and tourists alike were in awe of the snow across the Strip. Many Instagrammers snapped a shot of the iconic Las Vegas sign, but this night-time photo lets the light of the sign make the falling snowflakes glow.

Add "desert snowstorm" to the list of unpredictable events this winter season. What's next?


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