Israel's Winter Wonderland

LIVE BLOG: Jerusalem Blanketed in Snow as Stormy Weather Sweeps Israel

Route 1 shut, blocking entrance to Jerusalem; access to Safed reopens; school canceled in various cities across the country.

The entrance to Jerusalem was blocked Thursday morning, after heavy snow fell in the capital overnight. The snow also caused public transport to be canceled in the city, and residents were requested to stay home and avoid driving. Snow also continued falling in the Golan Heights and the Judean Hills.

Snow plows cleared the route from the northern city of Safed to nearby Elifelet on Thursday morning, renewing access to the city that was previously closed off due to a snowstorm.

Meanwhile, school was canceled in various cities throughout the country as a result of the stormy weather.

On Wednesday, some 25,000 houses were cut off from electricity due to power failures.

4:30 P.M. The following roads are experiencing heavy traffic: Ayalon Highway northbound between Keren Kayemet junction and Glilot, Ayalon Highway southbound between Rokach junction and La Guardia junction and route 4 between Holot junction and Yavne.

3:30 P.M. Israel Police says most roads, including Tel Aviv-Jerusalem Highway 1, are now open. Sections of routes 222, 234, 2499 and 5066 remain blocked.

2:20 P.M. Route 6 opens for traffic in both directions.

12:20 P.M. The section of Route 6 that was closed to traffic between Iron and Ein Tut is reopened to traffic. Similarly, all roads in the north are opened to traffic.

11:50 A.M. Route 5066 between Kana and Immanuel closed to traffic due to collapsed road

11:35 A.M. Route 443 to Jerusalem reopens to traffic in both directions. Vehicles are currently being allowed into the city.

11:26 A.M. Route 6 closed off between Iron and Ein Tut junctions due to ice on road

10:41 A.M. After a snowy night, the roads to Safed are opened to traffic. Drivers are requested to exercise caution.

10:00 A.M. Trains to Jerusalem resume, to operate at increased frequency as roads are still blocked to traffic and it is currently the only way to enter the capital.

9:45 A.M. Bus carrying IDF soldiers swept into The Atadim stream in the Negev hills, extracted by rescue team without injury.

9:33 A.M. Roads throughout the country remain closed off due to difficult weather conditions. Jerusalem: Route 1 is closed in both directions (to and from Tel Aviv) between Ginot Sakharov and Ben Shemen Interchange, while Route 443 is closed eastbound, but open in the other direction. Route 60 is closed from Gilo to Gush Etzion and Route 436 is blocked in the Givat Ze'ev area.

9:30 A.M. Jerusalem municipality urges residents to remain at home and stay off the streets. Elisha Peleg, official in charge of emergencies with Israel's municipality for Jerusalem, tells Army Radio the area has seen its greatest snowfall since 1992. Ten to 15 centimeters (4 to 6 inches) of snow has piled up in the city center and more than that in outlying areas, he says.

9:11 A.M. Immigration and Population Authority offices will be closed Thursday in Jerusalem and Safed

9:05 A.M. Power outages reported in Jerusalem due to trees falling on electric lines and tearing them. Israel Electric Corporation employees deployed to fix the lines, but are having trouble reaching the area as main thoroughfares are blocked.

9:01 A.M. Route 443 reopens to traffic

8:50 A.M. Jerusalem courts in emergency mode, will not be open to general public. Jerusalem Magistrate's Court will hold deliberations on urgent arrests and injunctions only.

8:28 A.M. Snow falling in Dimona

8:15 A.M. Water level in Lake Kinneret has risen by 14 centimeters over the last time, currently stands at 211.20 centimeters below sea level.

8:02 A.M. Route 443 closed to traffic entering Jersualem

7:00 A.M. Jerusalem Municipality announces that school has been canceled across the city. Meanwhile, Highway 1 has been closed again, and Egged bus company announced it has cancelled buses to Jerusalem. According to Army Radio, the route is expected to reopen by about 9 A.M. Jerusalem residents are requested to avoid driving private vehicles, due to the risk of slipping.

6:57 A.M. Throughout the night, some 27 damaged vehicles were removed from Route 1.

01:15 A.M. Route 1 between Tel Aviv and Jerusalem opens to traffic after being closed earlier due to weather conditions.

Snow covers the Dome of the Rock on the compound known to Muslims as al-Haram al-Sharif

Israel weather forecast (roll your mouse over the map to see the temperatures)