Weathering the storm

Snow twice in one winter? It happens every five years.

snow jerusalem 224.88 (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
snow jerusalem 224.88
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
After Monday's strong winds and heavy rains, Jerusalem residents woke up Tuesday morning to yet another bout of snow - the second within three weeks. It turns out, though, that such an occurrence isn't so rare. According to Dr. Amos Porat of the Israel Meteorological Service, every four or five years snow falls twice within one winter season, the last time being the winter of 2002-2003. The month of January was the capital's coldest since 1992, Porat noted, with temperatures dipping as low as 1ºC. The average winter temperature in Jerusalem is 13ºC during the day and 6ºC at night. To ready the city for this week's stormy weather, the municipality on Monday dispatched dozens of snow plows, salt dispensers and tractors to various neighborhoods. In addition, the 106 municipal hot line was reinforced to handle the influx of weather-related calls. The municipality also offered winter clothes and shelter in local hotels to some 80 vagrant youth and adults who were found wandering or living in the streets. Despite the snowfall, buses began running Tuesday at 6:45 a.m. and schools opened at 9 a.m. Still, one Jerusalem mother reported that her nine-year-old son showed up to an empty classroom and was told by his teacher to return home. As for the remaining weeks of winter, Porat said it was too soon to tell what was in store for Jerusalemites, adding that there was a possibility of another snowfall before the close of the season.