Women build a snowman at the Western Wall. (Mendy Hechtman/FLASH90) Women build a snowman at the Western Wall. (Mendy Hechtman/FLASH90)
Women build a snowman at the Western Wall. (Mendy Hechtman/FLASH90)

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Israelis awoke to a wintry wonderland today as snow blanketed multiple parts of the country overnight.

Kids sliding in Jerusalem's Independence Park. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Kids sliding in Jerusalem’s Independence Park. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Jerusalem received 20 cm of snow and the Golan Heights 30 cm. Even the Negev received a light dusting, with flurries reported in Beersheba, Dimona and Arad. The center of the country, meanwhile, was pelted repeatedly with hail. According to the Israel Water Authority, the Sea of Galilee rose by 5.5 cm in one 24-hour period.

In order to protect the safety of Israel’s citizens, highways 1 and 443 into Jerusalem were closed. Vehicular traffic and most bus service was also suspended in the capital to allow for the snow to be cleared. Schools are closed in most of the north and the area around Jerusalem, and the general aviation airport in Rosh Pina will only allow emergency helicopters to take off and land.

Following a short break on Friday, the harsh weather is forecasted to resume overnight and worsen into Saturday. The waves in the Mediterranean will reach a height of 400-600 cm, and flooding is anticipated in the east and south of the country. Temperatures will begin to rise Saturday, turning snow into rain in many areas.

Israelis will get a break from the inclement weather on Sunday, when temperatures are expected to be unseasonably warm.

From Israel, we wish all of you a “White Shabbat Shalom!”

 

 

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