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Jerusalem Braces for Rare Winter Snowstorm

A rare winter snowstorm is expected to hit Jerusalem this week, according to Israel’s national weather service, prompting the municipality to launch snow emergency preparations.

Schools in Jerusalem were ordered to close by 3 pm on Wednesday, Jan 16 while schools in the northern city of Safed and the Etzion Bloc were to close by 1:30 p.m.

“The Jerusalem municipality is completing its preparations for the possibility of snow,” with the various departments “prepared to handle every scenario,” Jerusalem Mayor Moshe Lion said.

The city said it has prepared some 150 snowplows, tractors, salt dispensers and engineering tools to help clear snow on its main roads and has 250 tons of salt on hand — the first time such preparations have been required since December 2013, when a major blizzard knocked out power to several neighbourhoods after blanketing the municipality with up to 30 cm (1 foot) of the white stuff:

Stranded vehicles in Jerusalem December 13, 2013.
More scenes from Dec 2013 — what was dubbed “a once-in-a century event”

That same storm socked higher elevations south of the city with up to 90 cm (3 feet) of snow in what was deemed a once-in-a-century event — could it happen again this week?

Latest GFS runs are certainly calling it a possibility.

Stay tuned for updates.


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