Stormy weather: Rocky seas on Israel's northern coast.
Stormy weather: Rocky seas on Israel's northern coast. Photo by Yaron Kaminsky
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Stormy weather caused damage all over Israel on Thursday. Snow fell for hours on Mt. Hermon, beginning in the early morning, where the ski slopes have been closed due to heavy fog and slippery conditions on the road leading up to the site.

Highway 75 between Ha'amakim Junction and Kiryat Tivon was closed for several hours due to a fallen electric pole.

A tree fell on a parked car in South Tel Aviv. No one was injured in the incident. On Hannah Szenes Street in Givatayim, two electric poles were damaged when a tree fell into a private courtyard.  No casualties or property damage were reported in the incident.  Municipal workers have removed the tree, and Israel Electric Corp. workers on the scene are dealing with high-voltage wires.  Trees went down in other parts of the Tel Aviv suburb, without casualties or property damage.

Shaul Ohana, manager of the Hermon ski site, said that snow had not accumulated in the area because the temperature, at 2 degrees Celsius, was too high.  He said he hoped the site would be open to visitors by next Tuesday, after the storm had passed.

Haifa's municipal emergency center said that numerous calls were received about weather damage from local residents. There were more than 20 reports of trees that had fallen, or were about to fall, in various parts of the city.  Traffic lights failed at four intersections and there were blackouts experienced at several locations.

The Meteo-Tech forecasting service predicts continued heavy rain on Thursday and Friday in northern and central Israel and scattered rainfall in the south.  Temperatures will be 4-7 degrees (Celsius) lower than Wednesday, and strong winds of 50 kph, gusting up to 80 kph, will cause sandstorms and haze in the south.

According to the forecast, strong winds in the evening will cause waves of up to 7 meters in the Mediterranean, at distances of up to several kilometers from the shore.  The Israel Meteorological Service predicts the sea-level to rise to up to 9 meters.  The rain will reach its peak overnight and in the early hours of Friday morning, with snow continuing to fall on Mt. Hermon.  Winds will diminish but remain strong, temperatures will remain low, and there is the danger of flooding along the coastline.

Rainfall will decrease on Saturday, and Sunday is expected to see a break in the stormy weather. But the storm, accompanied by heavy rains, is expected to return on Sunday night and Monday.

Accumulated rainfall is expected to reach 100 mm in several areas. Forecasts also predict that there will be 118 mm of rainfall at Kfar Giladi in the Upper Galilee, 113 mm in Haifa, 80 mm in Tel Aviv and 53 mm in Jerusalem.

The source of the stormy weather is a cold air mass coming from Turkey.  The clash between the cold air in the atmosphere and the still warm Mediterranean water (21 degrees) creates unstable weather conditions expressed in large quantities of rainclouds and strong winds.