Snowstorms, flash flood warnings close schools

Lake Kinneret rises 16 cm in weekend storms; Kiryat Arba, Hebron close schools due to snow; Golan sees 120 mm of precipitation.

Snow near Kfar Werardim_390 (photo credit: Elana Kirsh)
Snow near Kfar Werardim_390
(photo credit: Elana Kirsh)
Local authorities closed schools across the country on Sunday, as snow blanketed the Judean Mountains and heavy rains raised the flood alert in the country's low deserts.

School was canceled in Kiryat Arba and the Jewish quarter of Hebron after the weekend's storms dumped several centimeters on the hilly areas surrounding Hebron. Despite snowfall in Gush Etzion, schools there remained open. At least 15 centimeters of snow were reported in the Golan, closing schools in the mountainous region that has seen some of the heaviest snowfall in the country in recent days. At least 120 millimeters of precipitation was recorded across the Golan Heights, according to Army Radio. Further south, local authorities closed schools near the Dead Sea fearing flash floods. Lake Kinneret (the Sea of Galilee)'s water level rose 16 centimeters since last Thursday due to the heavy precipitation, 33 cm above the red line, but still 3.87 meters below normal levels. The Israel Meteorological Service expected the weekend's strong winds and rains to let up Sunday night, making way for clearer skies but colder than average temperatures throughout the nation.