Israel’s north hit by snowstorm, Jerusalem lies in its path

Forecasters expect two to four inches in Jerusalem.

By World Israel News Staff

Admittedly not as rare as the freak snowstorm that hit Texas, snow in Israel is still pretty unusual. Snow began to fall overnight in Israel’s north. At least two highways were closed. The Golan Heights will see the most snow – up to one foot, meteorologists say.

The question on everyone’s mind is how much will Jerusalem get. Snow is likely to arrive there by afternoon. Forecasters expect two to four inches.

Snow in Jerusalem always makes for pretty pictures but getting around will be difficult. As the municipality says, if snow falls, it will stop intercity public transportation. However, Israel Railways will extend the operating hours of its new, high-speed line from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem until 10:30 p.m., and will operate two trains per hour in each direction.

The last time Jerusalem got heavy snow, Israelis from around the country rushed to see it, getting mired in an enormous traffic jam as cars became stuck on the roads and some 2,000 people needed to be rescued from their vehicles. That was in 2013, when Jerusalem was hit with over two feet of snow. It’s not known if Israelis have since learned the lesson that getting into your car is the last thing you want to do during a snowstorm.

The country also saw high precipitation as rainstorms poured down on central Israel on Wednesday morning. In Tel Aviv, an 80-year-old man walking his dog was injured when a tree branch fell on him. Magen David Adom rescued him from underneath the branch and he was evacuated to Ichilov hospital.

Kids build a snowman in northern Israel, Feb. 17, 2021. (Flash90/Michael Giladi)

The Samaria Regional Council is preparing for the possibility of snow. Council head Yossi Dagan said, “We are excited about the possibility of snow here in Samaria after years without snow. We are prepared for any scenario in order to give the best response to our residents with the help of the relevant authorities.”

Even the northern Negev, a desert region, may see a dusting.

Israel’s Nature and Parks Authority warned of flooding and to stay clear of wadis and other flash flood areas. Heavy rains have often led to tragedy in Israel, both in unpopulated areas and in urban centers with poor drainage.