Snow Blankets Yerushalayim As Israel Braces For Winter Storm


snow-yerushalayimAn all-out storm hit Israel Thursday with light snow falling in the mountainous northern regions, unusually cold temperatures, strong winds and very high waves across the coastline. The Yerushalayim Municipality announced that its school system will be shut down on Friday due to the wintry weather.

A considerable drop in temperatures was felt throughout Israel on Thursday, and snow began to fall over the northern mountains in the afternoon. Due to the stormy weather, several roadways were closed in the country’s north.

More snow is expected to fall over the Carmel Mountain and over mountains in central Israel – including in Yerushalayim.

The storm will begin with snow mixed with rain, and snow will start piling up in the evening in areas in northern Israel that are higher than 200-300 meters above sea level. In central Israel, areas 300-400 meters above sea level will be hit by snow and in the Negev snow will hit areas 300 meters above sea level.

Ahead of the storm, Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu conducted a situation assessment with Police Commissioner Yohanan Danino and Public Security Minister Yitzchak Aharonovitch. “The goal is to save lives and prevent deaths,” Netanyahu said, adding that that rescue services were prepared to deal with the storm.

“We are prepared for the storm,” Police Commissioner Danino said, stating that the police drew conclusions from last year’s storm.

Due to the upcoming storm, the eastern dock and Carmel dock of the Haifa port will be closed until Friday. A decision on whether work will continue on the western dock, which is protected from strong winds, and at the Kishon Port will be made based on weather conditions.

Until Friday before noon, snow might fall at lower altitudes than expected due to low temperatures in high levels of the atmosphere combined with a particularly large amount of precipitation.

Lower areas that might see snowfall include the Hula Valley and the Jezreel Valley in the north, Modi’in and Ariel in central Israel and Arad and Dimona in the south. There is also a small chance of snowflakes being seen in the coastal area as well.

Heavy snow is forecasted to continue falling in the early hours of Friday morning, with snow mounting at mountain tops higher than 500 meters in the north and in central Israel. Snow will continue to fall in the afternoon in the northern Golan Heights, while snow will begin to melt in lower areas in the afternoon.

The snow is expected to completely stop on Friday night. Reduced winds and rainfall are forecasted for Shabbos, and on Sunday the temperatures will heat up.

Ynet contributed to this report.

{ Israel}