Wintry Weather Hits Israel Leaving Two Feet of Snow on Mount Hermon

Sea of Galilee water level raises six centimeters in one day, frost expected in some areas as temperatures drop below usual for the time of year

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Cows cross a river in the north of Israel as snow falls, January 20, 2021.
Cows cross a river in the north of Israel as snow falls, January 20, 2021.Credit: Gil Eliahu

Israel experienced particularly wintery weather Tuesday and Wednesday, blanketing Mount Hermon in snow and raising the water level of the Sea of Galilee.

Mount Hermon has seen 70 centimeters (27.5 inches) of snow accumulate on its higher slope, with 40 centimeters (15.7 inches) on its lower slope. The site is closed to visitors.

Children play in the snow in the Golan Heights, Israel, January 21, 2021. Credit: Gil Eliahu
Snow falls on joggers in the Golan Heights, Israel, January 20, 2021.Credit: Gil Eliahu
The Mount Hermon ski resort, January 20, 2021.Credit: Mount Hermon ski resort

The water level in the Sea of Galilee rose by six centimeters (2.3 inches) in just 24 hours between Tuesday and Wednesday, according to the Water Authority. The rain brought Lake Kinneret to about 210 meters (689 feet) below sea level, and the Water Authority predicts that its level will rise by another five centimeters in the next day. 

Flash flooding required a man and his son to be rescued from a car in the Ayalon Valley, near Jerusalem.

The weather was cold for the season on Wednesday, with rain falling sporadically from north to south, accompanied by thunderstorms, hail and strong winds. In addition to Mount Hermon, snow fell in Majdal Shams, Merom Golan and high peaks in the Golan Heights.

The weather overnight between Wednesday and Thursday is expected to be clear but very cold, with frost threatening some areas. Thursday is expected to be partly cloudy and clear, with temperatures rising slightly. Temperatures are forecast to further rise on Friday and Saturday. 

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