A child plays in the snow in Jerusalem in February..
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)
Following an unseasonably frigid weekend around the country, temperatures dropped below -8° Celsius in the Golan Heights during predawn hours on Sunday.
At Kibbutz Merom Golan, just west of the Syrian border, mercury levels plummeted to -8.3°, Dr. Amos Porat, head of the Israel Meteorological Service’s Climate Department, told The Jerusalem Post on Sunday. The brisk weather over the past few days has been the result of a high-pressure system from Turkey and southern Russia, which has brought cold and dry air from the northeast into Israel, he explained.
“The low temperatures are not record-breaking for the entire winter, but we usually get them only in January-February,” Porat said. “They are quite unusual for the beginning of December.”
Other temperature lows, mostly recorded from 5 to 7 a.m. on Sunday morning, included -3° in the Jezreel Valley’s Nir Haemek and -2° in the Negev community of Sde Boker, according to the IMS data. The Upper Galilee’s Kfar Blum was also unusually cold at -1.7°, as was Safed at 0.8°.
Temperatures fell to 1.3° in Beersheba, 1.8° at the central Israel IMS headquarters in Beit Dagan and 2.5° in Jerusalem, the data said.
While the forecast weather calls for continued unseasonably cool temperatures on Monday, clear to partly cloudy skies are expected to usher in a rise in temperatures, which should increase slightly further on Tuesday, the IMS reports. No significant change is predicted for Wednesday.