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Snow blankets north, but only teases Jerusalem with light appearance

Schools in the capital open an hour late over fears of icy roads; weather forecast to remain cold until slight weekend warming

Stuart Winer is a breaking news editor at The Times of Israel.

  • Snow in the Golan Heights, northern Israel, January 19, 2022. (Maor Kinsbursky/Flash90)
    Snow in the Golan Heights, northern Israel, January 19, 2022. (Maor Kinsbursky/Flash90)
  • Snow in the Golan Heights, northern Israel, January 19, 2022. (Maor Kinsbursky/Flash90)
    Snow in the Golan Heights, northern Israel, January 19, 2022. (Maor Kinsbursky/Flash90)
  • Snow in the Golan Heights, northern Israel, January 19, 2022. (Maor Kinsbursky/Flash90)
    Snow in the Golan Heights, northern Israel, January 19, 2022. (Maor Kinsbursky/Flash90)
  • Cows in the snow in the northern Golan Heights, January 19, 2022. (Michael Giladi/Flash90)
    Cows in the snow in the northern Golan Heights, January 19, 2022. (Michael Giladi/Flash90)
  • Snow in the northern Golan Heights, January 19, 2022. (Michael Giladi/Flash90)
    Snow in the northern Golan Heights, January 19, 2022. (Michael Giladi/Flash90)
  • Deers in the snow, in Moshav Odem, in the Golan Heights, northern Israel, January 19, 2022. (Moraz Brom/Flash90)
    Deers in the snow, in Moshav Odem, in the Golan Heights, northern Israel, January 19, 2022. (Moraz Brom/Flash90)
  • Snow in the nothern Israeli city of Safed, January 19, 2022. (David Cohen/Flash90)
    Snow in the nothern Israeli city of Safed, January 19, 2022. (David Cohen/Flash90)
  • People in the snow in the nothern city of Safed, January 19, 2022. (David Cohen/Flash90)
    People in the snow in the nothern city of Safed, January 19, 2022. (David Cohen/Flash90)

Heavy snow fell on the Golan Heights and northern mountainous regions overnight Wednesday, blanketing many areas as a chill swept through the country.

On the Golan Heights, temperatures dropped to minus four degrees Celsius and schools were closed for the second day in a row.

Snow also fell on much of the Galilee region and dusted areas in central Israel above 500 meters in altitude.

Though there was some snow in Jerusalem during the night, it didn’t settle. However, the Jerusalem municipality ordered schools to open an hour late at 9 a.m. on Thursday over concerns of icy roads.

There were also heavy rains and strong winds in other areas overnight. A tree was blown over on Shenkin Street in Tel Aviv, damaging some cars but causing no injuries.

The downpour raised the level of the Sea of Galilee by 1.5 centimeters.

The weather conditions impacted highways in other areas, with Israel Police announcing Thursday morning that the northbound lane of Route 999 was blocked from Sion Junction, and both lanes of Route 60 in the central region were closed between Givat Asaf Junction and Wadi al-Haramiya.

The Israel Electric Corporation reported record winter demand that peaked at 14,753 megawatts, breaking a record set in 2020 of 13,182 megawatts. The IEC said that during the night it attended to hundreds of disruptions to the power supply due to weather damage, high demand from consumers, and construction work mishaps.

Thursday was expected to be clear and cold.

While human Israelis sought shelter from the recent rain, the Ramat Gan Safari reported that its pride of lions was unmoved by the wet weather.

In a video released by the safari, the big cats were shown lying on grass in their enclosure, unsheltered and apparently indifferent to the downpour.

The cold snap was forecast to continue into the night. However, by the weekend temperatures were expected to rise. Starting Sunday evening, more cold weather is expected for a few days, with the possibility of snow.

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