Winter wonderland: Saudi Arabia's Asir region witnessed six hours of rain. Layers of snow eventually carpeted mountains and roads. Image Credit: SPA

Dubai: The majestic mountains in southern Saudi Arabia has just turned into a winter wonderland on Tuesday, according to local press reports.

The official Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported in a tweet on Tuesday that the April snowfall has blanketed the picturesque Asir region, including the main city of Abha, in white.

Local news sites also reported that the snow cover followed rain and hail storms on Monday, which sent the termperature down.

Asir has been developed into a tourist site, both for domestic and international visitors.

Geographically, the Asir Region is situated on a high plateau that receives more rainfall than the rest of the country and contains the country's highest peaks — which rise to almost 3,000 metres (9,800 ft) at Jabal Sawda near Abha. 

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The southwestern region, which shares a short border with Yemen, has an area of 76,693 square kilometres (29,611 sq mi) of which the capital of the is Abha. Other towns include Khamis Mushait, Bisha and Bareq. 

The average annual rainfall in the highlands is reported to range from 300 to 500 millimetres (12 to 20 in) falling in two rainy seasons — the chief one being in March and April. 

Temperatures can be extreme. While afternoon temperatures can hover above 30°C, mornings can be extremely frosty and fog can curb visibility significantly. 

As a result, there is much more natural vegetation in Asir than in any other part of Saudi Arabia, with sheltered areas even containing areas of dense coniferous forests, though more exposed ridges still are very dry.

Asir is home to many farmers who chiefly grow wheat and fruit crops, though irrigation has greatly expanded production in modern times.

It also rains in the region in the summer.