By Phillys Singer
I made a mistake in my article in last week’s edition: I wrote that snow was a “no-show” this year in Jerusalem! And I also said that although winter is not quite over here, there is little chance of a winter storm in March, so Jerusalem residents will have to wait another year for a winter wonderland.
Shortly after The American Israelite appeared online and in print the meteorologist proved me wrong!
The weather here last week was horrendous—great for the country, which has experienced drought conditions and a lack of precipitation the past few winters, but not so great for people who had to go outside! It was unseasonably cold, windy, with heavy downpours almost every day. By Wednesday, the weather bureau was predicting temperatures of 1 or 0 Celsius for Friday (that’s 34 or 32 Fahrenheit—cold enough to snow) and snow in areas above 700 meters throughout the country, including Jerusalem.
It rained hard all day Wednesday and Thursday with temperatures hovering around 2 to 4 degrees Celsius. But when we woke up about 8 a.m. Friday, the rain had turned to thick wet snow. The snow continued to fall off and on throughout the morning, then turned to sleet and finally back to rain in the afternoon as the temperature rose one or two degrees.
According to The Jerusalem Post, several centimeters fell in Jerusalem, schools were closed, buses temporarily had to halt several lines and approximately 50 snow plows and salt spreaders were out working to keep the main streets open.
Children—and their parents—quickly donned heavy clothing and raced outside to build snowmen and slide around in the white stuff! TV newscasts were filled with images of families enjoying the snow throughout the country! Jerusalem, the Upper Galilee, Tzfat, the Golan Heights, Mt. Hermon and Gush Etzion were blanketed, and wintery conditions extended as far south as Ashdod and the Northern Negev. In the northern areas, snow continued throughout the weekend.
I won’t venture another weather forecast this week, but my guess is that was the only snow for Jerusalem this year. Maybe next year.