Stormy Weekend: Israel's Mount Hermon Shut Amid Heavy Snowfall

Mount Hermon sees 35-40 centimeters of snow, while heavy rains flood north and water level rises in Sea of Galilee

Noa Shpigel
Noa Shpigel
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Israel's Mount Hermon, on February 8, 2020.
Israel's Mount Hermon, on February 8, 2020.Credit: Hermon website
Noa Shpigel
Noa Shpigel

Mount Hermon was closed to visitors on Saturday in the face of snow storms, which blanketed the area in 35-40 centimeters (13.5-16 inches) of snow at the base of the mountain, the site's online page said.

The long hiking trail at the Ayun River Nature Reserve, near Metula Israel's northernmost city, was also closed to visitors after heavy rain flooded some of the paths. The Israel Nature and Parks Authority notified visitors that only the short trail near the Tanur waterfall would be open.

A snow cat on Israel's Mount Hermon, on February 8, 2020.
A snow cat on Israel's Mount Hermon, on February 8, 2020.Credit: Hermon website

The water level at the Sea of Galilee, Israel's largest water reservoir, rose five centimeters since Friday, the Water Authority said, and currently stands at 210.10 meters below sea level. As of now, the Kinneret is 1.30 meters below its full capacity.

In the northern Israeli city of Carmiel, a 22-year-old woman was moderately injured in the city's commercial center by an iron rod that fell on her due to strong winds. She was taken to the hospital in Nahariya.

The Sea of Galilee in northern Israel, on February 8, 2020.
The Sea of Galilee in northern Israel, on February 8, 2020.Credit: Ariel Zur

"When we arrived at the city's commercial center they brought us to a large tent with goods for sale that had been erected in the parking lot," paramedic Tom Carmi said. "The injured woman was lying on the ground, suffering from a head injury. People at the scene told us that she was injured by a metal rod that had fallen and hit her. We conducted medical checks, put her in the ambulance and took her to the hospital in moderate condition."

On Sunday, the rains are expected to let up, however they may travel south to the Negev desert, raising concern of flash floods in the eastern part of the country. Light snowfall is expected at the Hermon and the mountains in the north, as well as the mountains in the center near Jerusalem. Unseasonably cold temperatures can be expected in the evening.

On Monday, the weather will be partially cloudy and a substantial drop in temperature will be felt. Very cold temperatures are expected throughout Israel Monday night.

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