Rain and Snow as Winter Storm Strikes Israel
Israel was hit by its first major winter storm this year as rain and snow continued falling from Tuesday night on into Wednesday morning. The storm changed flight patterns and led to traffic difficulties, as heavy rains were accompanied by a strong cold and 55 kilometer per hour (35 mph) winds.
On Mount Hermon snowploughs have been working to clear the 15 centimeters (half a foot) of snow that fell there. Snow is expected to fall Wednesday night in Jerusalem, as well as the Judea and Shomron mountains.
Meanwhile the coastal region saw some of the most intense rain. Tel Mond, just outside of Netanya, received 112 milimeters (4.5 inches) of rain.
As for the disruption caused by the storm: a tree was reported to have fallen in the Jerusalem neighborhood of Katamon, but no injuries were reported. In Bnei Brak the storm collapsed the traffic light system, leading to mass traffic confusion.
It was decided that school would be in session in the north and center regions of Israel despite the raging storm.
Two weeks ago Israel's Chief Rabbis, Rabbi David Lau and Rabbi Yitzhak Yosef, urged the Jewish people to pray for rains following a dry start to the winter. They noted that the winter rain, when plentiful, sustains the Israeli economy through the next year.
On Wednesday the Chief Rabbinate released a statement thanking G-d for the rains and saying the additional prayers for rain do not need to be included anymore.