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Forecaster Nixes Rumors of Second Snowstorm

Forecaster says no new snowstorm on the horizon. Jerusalem leaders clash over storm ‘mismanagement.’
By Maayana Miskin
First Publish: 12/19/2013, 11:02 AM

Snow in Jerusalem
Snow in Jerusalem
Israel news photo: Flash 90

Despite rumors to the contrary, no new snowstorms are expected in Israel this month, long-time weather forecaster Uri Betz said Thursday, speaking to Arutz Sheva radio.

There have been rumors that a second major storm is expected early next week.

“There is no hint of another storm approaching, at least not for the next ten days,” he said. “People are getting everyone worked up… There’s no basis for it. There will be rain or snow in the Hermon, but a repeat of what there was in Jerusalem, no.”

The storm that hit Israel late last week included heavy snow in Jerusalem, and in parts of Judea and Samaria and northern Israel. The storm left tens of thousands of homes without electricity for days, and led to some communities being cut off from the outside world.

In Jerusalem, accusations continue to fly over alleged mishandling of the situation. While some have argued that Israel did everything it could to prepare for the storm, which was unusually fierce, others say the government should have reacted more quickly.

Jerusalem city councilman Moshe Lion, who recently came in second in the city’s mayoral race, criticized handling of the storm and its aftermath.

“Nobody could have predicted the power of the storm, but in light of the results it appears that both the preparations and the management of the crisis in real time were lacking,” he wrote on Facebook.

“The fact is that only this morning, five days after the storm ended, students – and not all of them – are going back to school full-time, is a red light,” he argued. This does not bode well for future incidents, he warned.

Schools in Jerusalem reopened Tuesday, but roughly 30% of school remained closed that day, and classes in schools that were open began only at 10 a.m. On Wednesday roughly 90% of schools were open, with classes beginning at 10 a.m.

Lion suggested the establishment of an investigative committee to look into the city’s functioning during the storm.

“I’ve remained silent regarding these types of things recently,” he wrote. “Despite that, these things – the blocked roads, the shutdown of transportation, the elderly left without electricity or heat, the parents missing days of work due to the lengthy shutdown of the school system – force me to stand and investigate,” he concluded.