From the balcony in Ramot, Jerusalem.
From the balcony in Ramot, Jerusalem.Rachel Sylvetsky.

Highways 1 and 443, which connect Jerusalem to the coastal plain, were closed off Thursday by police to traffic in both directions until 6:00 a.m.

Police cited “snow and the danger of skidding” as the reason for the closure. Snow is piling up in the taller mountains of northern Israel, and mountains in the Negev will receive snowfall before dawn.

There are heavy thunderstorms and high winds throughout Israel. Temperatures are descending.

The Meteorological Service said Thursday that occasional rain showers accompanied by thunderstorms can be expected Thursday night and Friday morning in northern and central Israel. Snow will fall in the mountains of the Galilee and northern Golan, in the central mountains, including Jerusalem, and in the mountains of the Negev.

Rain will fall intermittently on Saturday from northern Israel to the Negev and isolated thunderstorms are possible. It will be cold and light snow is still expected in the summits of northern, central and southern Israel in the morning hours.

Rain and snow will gradually stop in the afternoon. The night will be cold and ice is expected to form on the roads.

In Jerusalem, the Etzion Bloc communities, the Eshkol Council, and in Elon Moreh, Itamar, Yitzhar, Har Beracha and Migdalim in Samaria, schools and kindergardens will be not open Friday.

A vehicle was swept by water flowing through Nahal Grar in the south of Israel. A rescue unit from Southern District Firefighting was alerted. Earlier in the day, a vehicle carrying ten passengers – nine of whom were children – was swept downstream at the same location. The children were taken to Soroka Hospital in Be'er Sheva in light condition. 

Snow in Shiloh. Photo: Ari Soffer