Torrential Rain Washes Sahara Dust From Israel's Skies; Forecast: Snow in Jerusalem

Route 90 floods as rain sweeps northern Israel, with snow in the north and more wet weather expected on Wednesday

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Rescuing a driver whose car broke down in the flooding Hilazon Street
Rescuing a driver whose car broke down in the flooding Hilazon StreetCredit: Fire Service and Rescue, Northern District

The rain throughout northern Israel may have flooded low-lying towns and roads but at least it washed the dust that had swept in from the Sahara as of Sunday night from the skies.

Snow has been piling up on Mount Hermon, the highest point in Israel, as torrential rain intermittently pounds the north and center Monday. A short section of Israel's north-south highway, Route 90, was closed in the morning to traffic in both directions between the Tiberias hot springs and the city of Tiberias itself because of flooding. The rain in the north and center is expected to die down Monday evening.

The snow on the Hermon ski site has reached about 15 centimeters in depth so far.

Flooding was also reported in the northern towns of Sakhnin and Tamra, and rescuers saved two drivers whose cars broke down in Hilazon Stream.

The Tel Aviv beach, January 14, 2019.Credit: \ Moti Milrod
Flooding in Israel's north

The precipitation broke a dust haze coating the center and north, but the skies remain dusty in  the south as of Monday morning. The Ministry of Environmental Affairs warned on Sunday about the dust storm, which originated in the Sahara.

Tuesday the weather forecast is partly cloudy to clear with a slight increase in temperature. The wind is expected to pick up Tuesday evening, possibly bringing in more dust.

Come Wednesday, winter is expected back with a vengeance, bringing thunderstorms and hail in the center and north, and more snow on the Hermon from mid-day Wednesday. From the evening hours, snow could fall in Jerusalem and the central hills as well, weather forecasters predict. The storm should pass Thursday, with rain easing throughout the day, and temperatures rising.

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