As the New Year entered, the first snow began to cover parts of Israel. The peak of Mount Hermon, the northernmost point in the country, was blanketed with 60 centimeters of snow, forcing the closure of the ski resort. Also in the north, the city of Safed closed schools and prepared for more snow. Areas of the Golan Heights were dusted with light snow.
South of Jerusalem, Gush Etzion and Bethlehem were covered with a light layer of snow. The capital city is preparing for snow on Friday night, with temperatures expected to drop dramatically accompanied by high winds.
Power lines were downed in parts of the country, around Safed and in eastern Gush Etzion. Emergency services are on alert and people are requested to refrain from travelling if possible. If heavy snows begin, some roads may be closed to traffic by authorities. The Galilee was drenched with 60 centimeters of rain, swelling rivers in the center of the country. Flash flood warnings are in place in low lying regions and the winter weather is expected to continue until Sunday.
The season appropriate precipitation is a welcome arrival in this dry winter and it is hoped it will bring some relief to falling levels in the Sea of Galilee.