Snow Falls in Jerusalem as Cold Snap Continues for Second Day

Dead Sea roads closed down due to flooding; 50 centimeters of snow reported on Mount Hermon.

Send in e-mailSend in e-mail
Snow in Jerusalem, Jan. 25, 2016.
Snow in Jerusalem, Jan. 25, 2016.Credit: Olivier Fitoussi

The stormy weather continued on Monday across Israel, with snow falling in Jerusalem, Gush Etzion and Mount Hermon.

Route 443 was shut down Monday evening, as snow piles up on the key Jerusalem-area road.

On Mount Hermon, some 50 centimeters of snow have accumulated at the lower station of the ski slope cable car. The site was, however, still closed to visitors. Plows were working to clear the routes in the Golan Heights. In the villages of Majdal Shams, Buq'ata and Masadeh only all-terrain vehicles could navigate the snow-blocked roads. 

Snow in Jerusalem, Jan. 25, 2016.Credit: Olivier Fitoussi

School activities in the Golan and the upper Galilee were operating as usual. School day in the Mateh Yehuda Regional Council (near Jerusalem) and Gush Etzion in the West Bank, as well as in Kiryat Arab, will end earlier at 1 P.M. In Majdal, schools were closed due to the celebration of Prophet al-Khader's Day.

Highway 90 was closed down in the Dead Sea area due to flooding.

The storm is expected to subside later on Monday, but the temperature will remain low in the coming days, with rain falling mainly in the center and south. Snow will continue to pile up on the northern mountains and around Jerusalem.

Ramat Hagolan, January 24, 2016.Credit: Gil Eliahu

The maximum temperature in Jerusalem on Monday was 3 degrees Celsius, 11 in Tel Aviv and Haifa, 5 in Katzrin, 3 in Sefad, 9 in Be'er Sheva and 6 degrees in Mitzpe Ramon.

The Jerusalem municipality has been preparing in recent days for snowfall. The Jerusalem Police said they were working with the municipality, the rescue service, the Israel Electric Corporation and the army, and would beef up its forces in the capital if necessary. Drivers who get stuck in snow are instructed by police to call 100 and wait near their cars.

Citipass, the company that operates Jerusalem’s light rail, called on drivers not to abandon their cars on the rail tracks, as has happened in the past. The company said the rail was operable in accumulations of up to five centimeters of snow, but that service would stop if the snow was heavier than that.

Various events in the capital to mark Tu Bishvat, the Jewish Arbor Day, which falls on Monday, were canceled due to the weather.