Storm Expected to Sweep Israel as Northerners Brace for Snow

Snow expected to fall on Golan Heights, with a possibility of snowfall in mountains near Jerusalem.

After several days of fair weather, a storm is expected to sweep across Israel on Wednesday, with heavy precipitation expected to hit central and northern Israel as soon as the early afternoon.

Later, the stormy weather is expected to spread southward toward the northern Negev, bringing with it a sharp decline in temperatures.

Snow was expected to fall on Mount Hermon in the northern part of the Golan Heights, with a possibility of snowfall in the mountains near Jerusalem as well as in the mountainous areas of the northern Negev.

Safed's municipality already prepared itself for possible snowfall on Tuesday, convening its "Municipal Snow Headquarters" which includes city department directors and neighborhood chiefs.

"We've become quite accustomed to deal with weather events, since it snows here almost every year, said Aryeh Gur Aryeh, the director of Safed's municipal emergency hotline, adding, however, that "last year we had a snow-less winter."

Gur Aryeh added that although weather forecasts had anticipated Safed residents to wake up to a snow-covered morning, "it isn't clear whether the snow will fall only on Mount Canaan [on which Safed is situated] or if it will also fall on lower ground."

Golan Heights residents have also been preparing for a possibility of snowfall, as it is set to receive inspectors from the Safed municipality on Thursday morning to ensure that the roads aren't too slippery for travel.

On Sunday, water authorities reported that the Kinneret had risen by 87 centimeters in December and January and by over a meter during the past year.

The latest figures are the first since November following a two-month strike by authority workers, who returned to work this week.

During the walkout heavy rains washed across the country, partially replenishing water reserves that in the past years have run dangerously low.

A one-meter rise in water levels at the lake, Israel's primary water resource, requires around 160 cubic meters of water - equivalent to the volume of sea water that Israel's four desalination plants purify each year.