Snow in Jerusalem is always a special and newsworthy event here. For some, it is a delightful occasion; for others, an annoyance.
While more well-prepared and equipped than any other nation to deal with serious emergencies, including terrorist threats and situations of war, somehow the cold but lovely, white blanket practically shuts down the capital. This is an amusing phenomenon to immigrants from places such as Moscow and Montreal, where people are accustomed to much deeper snow.
The Prime Minister’s Office cancelled a number of meetings due to inclement weather. Most notably, US Secretary of State John Kerry’s meeting with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Shimon Peres has been postponed, The Jerusalem Post reported.
The Jerusalem municipality is constantly updating information on its website regarding the snow situation, as is Mayor Nir Barkat on his Facebook page.
Classes were cancelled at Jerusalem schools, including the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, as well as several offices and businesses. This is partly due to difficult driving conditions and road closures not only in Jerusalem, but throughout Israel, as some highways leading to the capital have been blocked.
Children seem overjoyed at the rare opportunity to play in the snow.
“Snow in Jerusalem is a celebration for Jerusalemites and the many visitors who come to see the most beautiful city in the world painted white. We hope the snow does not disappoint – especially the children of Jerusalem who are waiting and excited,” Barkat stated a day earlier, in anticipation of the snowstorm. He visited the municipal snow preparedness center and declared the city ready for the storm.
“Snowfall in Jerusalem is not all that uncommon and occurs every couple of years,” according to the AccuWeather website. “Significant accumulating snow is more rare.”
The temperature in Jerusalem and throughout the country is well below normal, which might intrigue those who believe in the Global Warming theory.
“Over the past two years, the temperature in Jerusalem has dropped to 0 degrees Celsius several times,” AccuWeather notes. “Similar readings are expected at night over the next few days. This is well below normal. In fact, the city’s lowest normal temperature is 5 degrees Celsius.”
Author: Atara Beck, Staff Writer for United with Israel
Date: Dec. 12, 2013