Snow in the Hermon (file)
Snow in the Hermon (file)Flash 90

In what seems to be becoming a weekly tradition, vortex winds and snow have descended upon Israel since the early morning hours of Friday, just a week after Israel's first winter snowstorm covered parts of the north with snow.

Heavy snow fell on Friday in the north on Mount Hermon, Israel's only ski site, and caused the site to be closed to visitors. Meanwhile Jerusalem has come in for howling winds and haze.

Rains are expected to spread throughout the day down into the northern Negev, and there are concerns of flooding in the Judean Desert and the Jordan Valley region. Overnight the Kinneret (Sea of Galilee) in the north rose by two centimeters (just under an inch).

The Eilat and Sde Dov airports in the south are only open for takeoffs due to the harsh weather conditions and limited visibility, and Uvda airport in the Negev as well as the airport in Haifa have been completely closed. Ben Gurion International Airport is operating as usual.

However, the blustery weather is expected to only last a day, and is due to die down for Shabbat. 

The Israel Electric Corporation (IEC) has stated that it is prepared for the storm, and has likewise reinforced its staff on the 103 telephone hotline for those reporting malfunctions and seeking updates.

The IEC notes that the heavy winds are liable to bring down electric lines and cause damage, and warns the public to make sure objects located in courtyards or on the roof are secured.

The temperature highs anticipated for Friday are: 11° C (52° F) in Katzrin on the Golan Heights, 9° C (48° F) in Tzfat (Safed), 16° C (61° F) in Haifa and Tel Aviv, 11° C in Jerusalem, 17° C (62° F) in Be'er Sheva, and a balmy 21° C (70° F) in Eilat.

Saturday is to see an improvement in the weather, and Sunday is expected to be partially cloudy to clear, with an additional increase in the temperature.