As powerful winds rattled windows, and unmanageable floods closed down some
schools on Wednesday, the light at the end of the tunnel for many Israelis was
the snow likely to fall the next day.
“It seems now that it is quite
certain that it will snow,” Dr. Amos Porat, director of the Climate Department
at the Israel Meteorological Service, told The Jerusalem Post on Wednesday
In addition to the more than 10 centimeters of snowfall slated
to hit the North on Thursday, up to 10 centimeters of snow is expected to fall
on mountain peaks in the country’s central and Jerusalem areas, according to the
Flurries will likely fall over Mizpe Ramon in the Negev, and the
largest amount of snow will likely accumulate in the Hebron and Gush Etzion
regions – reaching heights of up to 15 to 20 cm., the IMS reported.
this would be the third year in a row for Jerusalem to receive snow, Porat
stressed that this only constitutes a coincidence, not a trend.
amounts of rain drenched the Galilee, the Sharon region and Gush Dan overnight
on Tuesday, causing Lake Kinneret’s water level to rise by one centimeter on
Wednesday morning, according to the Water Authority. By Wednesday afternoon,
after additional heavy rains, the Water Authority reported that the Kinneret had
risen an additional centimeter, bringing the basin up to 211.38 meters below sea
level – 2.58m. from full capacity.
As of 4 p.m. on Wednesday, the largest
amounts of rain for the day – between 40 and 60 millimeters – fell in the
southern Coastal Plain, the central mountains and the Sharon region, the IMS
said. In addition to the rains that drenched most areas on Wednesday, strong
westerly winds overtook the country by the afternoon, with speeds of up to 50 to
80 kilometers per hour, IMS data reported.
Due to the heavy rains, two
people were trapped in a car that was swept into the Kidron stream in the West
Bank on Wednesday, Judea and Samaria District police said.
the Ma’aleh Adumim station, backed up by search and rescue volunteers, managed
to pull the two people from the car and evacuate them from the scene with light
Police from the district advised the public to avoid driving on
any roads where there is a danger of flooding.
Every year the region sees
a large amount of flooding, when heavy rains fill usually dry creek
Several schools throughout the country closed Wednesday due to the
severe weather conditions.
Students in the Tamar Regional Council in the
South were urged to stay home for fear of flooding, and in Haifa several schools
recorded low attendance and eventually sent students home.
drainage problems also caused school closures in a number of Arab towns,
including Umm el- Fahm, Fureidis and Tira.
Opposition leader Isaac Herzog
(Labor) said the severe weather conditions highlight the gaps in Israeli
“While many celebrate the snow on the Hermon, tens of thousands
of elderly, homeless and poor people cannot afford heating or even warm
blankets,” Herzog said.
The Labor Party leader called for the prime
minister, finance minister and welfare minister to budget resources to provide
aid and heating to the needy.
Herzog, a former welfare minister,
explained that the National Insurance Institute helps in certain towns, but that
in the past he funneled emergency funds to welfare offices throughout the
country to help those who are suffering from the inclement weather.
hope that the coming days will pass reasonably and that we will remember who
needs our help,” Herzog added.
Due to the expected snow accumulation in
the North on Thursday, roads in the northern Golan Heights and Upper Galilee may
be blocked by the afternoon, the Transportation Ministry warned.
regions unaffected by snow on Thursday, cloudy weather with rain, thunderstorms
and occasional hail should occur.
Forecasters expressed concern that
flooding may occur on Thursday, particularly in the southern Coastal Plain and
in the Judean Desert.
By evening, the southwesterly winds will likely
strengthen, thereby also boosting the intensity of the precipitation, the IMS
In response to the stormy weather, the Transportation Ministry
opened a special situation room at the IMS office in Beit Dagan on Wednesday
morning, to monitor the weather and provide possible solutions following
blockages or flooding of roads and railways.
The situation room will also
provide immediate information about any disruptions to incoming and outgoing
flights at Ben-Gurion Airport, and will find alternatives for landing elsewhere
if conditions do not allow for arrival there, the ministry
Transportation Ministry director- general Uzi Yitzhaki advised
motorists to avoid unnecessary travel in the coming days and make use of public
transportation rather than driving.
Magen David Adom said Wednesday it is
deploying extra rescue personnel to areas expected to receive snow.
are dozens of 4x4 ambulances at the ready, with chains on their tires in order
to make sure they can operate in the snow and ice, the rescue service
Teams have also been training their personnel to deal with victims
of exposure and have outfitted them with extra jackets, gloves and
Meanwhile, the National Traffic Police called on the public on
Wednesday to pay attention to media reports about weather updates and to make
sure to avoid traveling in areas where there is flooding or other dangerous
weather or road conditions.