Israel was hit by further bad weather Tuesday, as heavy rain and plummeting temperatures were felt across the country. Parts of a central highway were closed due to flooding early Tuesday, and flood warnings were also issued for the south.
The downpour was to be accompanied by thunderstorms, strong winds and bitter cold from the north all the way down to the Negev desert in the south, according to the Hebrew-language media.
On Tuesday morning, a homeless man in his 40s was hospitalized in critical condition in Kfar Saba suffering from hypothermia. Magen David Adom rescue personnel gave the man life-saving treatment at the entrance to a building, where he was found, before transferring him to Meir Hospital in the central city. He later died in hospital.
A planned ceremony for graduates of the Israeli Air Force pilots’ course at the Hatzerim Air Base in southern Israel was moved indoors and limited to only family members as a result of the rain and cold weather, the Ynet news website reported.
Due to the fierce rains, the Coastal Road was closed to northbound traffic early Tuesday morning between the town of Atlit and Haifa, some 10 kilometers (six miles) away. The road was reopened at around 8 a.m., but a stretch of the same highway was soon after closed to southbound traffic in the center of the country, close to Herzliya.
Additional flooding was expected along the coast and in riverbeds in the Judean Desert throughout the day, with the rain not likely to let up until the evening.
In the far north, some 60 centimeters (24 inches) of snow fell on Mount Hermon overnight Tuesday, as the northern Golan Heights saw its first flurries of the season. The Hermon skiing resort has been closed to visitors.
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Although temperatures were expected to rise in coming days, more rain and cold weather were in the forecast for the weekend.