While snow failed to coat the streets of Jerusalem this weekend – despite the wishes of the Mayor Nir Barkat – it did hit much of the North.
The northern Golan Heights received 20-25 centimeters of snow, according to the Israel Meteorological Service. In the Galilee, as well as some mountainous portions of the country’s center such as Hebron and Gush Etzion, several centimeters of snow also fell, the IMS reported. About 14-18 cm. of water drenched the Golan and the northern Galilee.Although the Education Ministry did not have details about individual school closures due to snow, the Safed Municipality website said that school in the city and surrounding Upper Galilee region was in session as normal on Sunday.Mount Hermon skiing, however, was still closed on Sunday due to the ongoing snowstorm, but every effort was being made to reopen the site on Monday, which would occur pending sufficient snow removal, according to the mountain resort’s website.Meanwhile, rainstorms engulfed the North, Center and northern Negev throughout the weekend, and the precipitation caused a 16-cm. rise in Lake Kinneret (the Sea of Galilee), leaving the basin at 212.67 meters below sea level on Sunday morning, the Water Authority said. Although the ample rain this weekend is encouraging, as the Kinneret is now 33 cm. above the bottom red line, the basin is still missing 3.87 meters, according to Water Authority spokesman Uri Schor.“This section of rain was the most significant rain that we had in February up until now,” Schor told The Jerusalem Post.Aside from heavy rains, the country’s central region also received exceptionally strong winds, which occurred at speeds of up to 60-80 kilometers per hour, with gusts of up to 100-110 kilometers per hour, IMS data said.The weekend’s precipitation had visible effects upon the North, where rainfall increased river flow in the Kinneret and Western Galilee region, Schor explained. Though ample, the Center and northern Negev received much less rainfall than the North this weekend, with Jerusalem getting about 8.4 cm. and Beersheba about 2.8 cm., according to the IMS.Ashkelon only received 1.1 cm., Schor said.While the rains were significant, the country is still under the yearly average rainfall, he stressed.“We are close to the average, but the average is not enough,” Schor added.Due to the seven years of drought that have led to this season, the country’s water demand exceeds the average amount of rainfall, according to Schor.“But it was wonderful weekend,” he said.