Winter storm buffets Israel with freezing rain, floods
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Winter storm buffets Israel with freezing rain, floods

Snow falls on Golan but not expected to reach Jerusalem, where temperatures forecast to hover above freezing

People walk in the rain on Jaffa street in downtown Jerusalem on February 14, 2017, as a rain storm hits the country. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
People walk in the rain on Jaffa street in downtown Jerusalem on February 14, 2017, as a rain storm hits the country. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Winter weather swept across the country Thursday, as a storm system lashing the country since Tuesday reached its peak, dumping snow on northern Israel and freezing rain in Jerusalem.

Particularly chilly and rainy weather was forecast throughout Israel over Thursday, with thunderstorms and hail predicted from the Golan Heights to the southern Negev desert.

The Golan Heights ski resort was closed due to snowy conditions as flurries blanketed the Golan plateau.

Flood warnings were issued for the Judean Desert and Dead Sea regions, and Israeli rescue units have warned citizens against approaching rivers in those areas either by car or foot.

Route 234 in the western Negev was shut to traffic as in both directions at the Ze’elim bridge due to flooding Thursday morning.

The Sea of Galilee rose one centimeter on Wednesday.

Temperatures in Jerusalem were expected to hover slightly above freezing, and while snow is not expected to fall, a statement from the municipality assured residents that it was prepared for the possibility of some accumulation.

Israelis play in the snow in the Golan Heights, on January 28, 2017 (Basel Awidat/Flash90)
Israelis play in the snow in the Golan Heights, January 28, 2017 (Basel Awidat/Flash90)

Police called on citizens to exercise caution while driving and adjust speeds for the slippery road conditions.

The cold front is expected to begin dissolving Friday morning in time for the weekend, as temperatures begin to climb back toward average levels for this time of year.

Sunshine is expected throughout the country all next week with temperatures reaching 13-15°C (55-60°F) in Jerusalem and as high as 19°C (67°F) in Tel Aviv.

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