Once again, as if in a rerun of two weeks ago, the talk of the town is the upcoming snow. The Jerusalem Municipality is already taking precautions.
Snow is expected to fall this coming Monday in almost all areas of the country that are over 600 meters (2000 feet) in height. This includes the areas that were snowed in in the previous storm two weeks ago, such as Jerusalem (800 meters above sea level), Kiryat Arba (930), Beit El (870), Tzfat (830), and parts of the Galilee, and also lower areas such as the vicinity of Beit Shemesh (600).
Snow mixed with rain is expected to fall on Monday in lower-altitude areas.
Jerusalem Mayor Uri Lupoliansky has given the order to clear away snow and maintain more than 500 kilometers of open roadways at all times. These include main arteries and connecting routes between the various neighborhoods and nearby hospitals. The city's welfare and youth departments have also been instructed to prepare in advance for difficulties the snow may cause, and to once again enact the "Warm House" program for the elderly, homeless and others.
Sunday afternoon rains will follow a warm Sunday morning, turning to snow on Monday because of a very cold front entering Israel from Russia.
Israel's last snowstorm, which began on January 30, led to school and office closings throughout Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, the northern Galilee and elsewhere.
Despite the recent rains and snow, Israel is still suffering from a water shortage. The Kinneret (Galilee) Sea, Israel's largest reservoir, rose by two centimeters on Wednesday, and now stands at 212.3 meters below sea level - 3.5 meters (11.5 feet) lower than the optimum level.
If the Kinneret follows last year's pattern, when it rose about 1.13 meters (3.7 feet) between mid-February and the summer, it will still be nearly 8 feet short. Each foot of Kinneret height represents over 50 million cubic meters of water.
The Water Authority continues to request that the public use water sparingly.