Snow in Jerusalem (illustrative)
Snow in Jerusalem (illustrative) Michael Giladi/Flash90

The winter storm Elpis has arrived in Israel, with rain beginning in northern Israel on Wednesday morning, accompanied by hail and thunderstorms, Meteo-Tech reported. Later in the morning, snow had already arrived at a few locations.

In central Israel, the winds picked up and there is intermittent rainfall, and there may be haze. In the Negev, it will become hazy and there may be sandstorms.

Beginning in the afternoon hours, the rain will increase in central Israel as well, and the weather will become stormy and rainy, with a chance of flooding. An especially cold front will enter Israel, and snow will begin falling on the peaks of northern mountains over 800 meters in altitude. The rain will reach the northern Negev, bringing with it a chance of flooding.

In the evening, snow is expected to spread to mountains of over 700 meters altitude, including in the center and Jerusalem. It will also accumulate on the ground, and during the night it may accumulate significantly, and there may be light snow on the Negev Mountain.

Thursday morning will be rainy and stormy, from northern Israel to the Negev. There will be snow on the mountains. During the morning hours, the snow on the mountains will be replaced by rain, other than on Mount Hermon, in the northern Golan Heights, and on Meron's mountains. There is a chance streams will flood.

Friday will see intermittent rainfall from northern Israel to the northern Negev, as well as a chance of flooding in areas prone to it. There will be snow on Mount Hermon and possibly in the northern Golan as well.

Saturday will be partly cloudy, with light local rainfall in northern and central Israel, and temperatures will be lower than usual.

Due to the expected storms, all Jerusalem's educational institutions will let out at 3:00p.m. on Wednesday, as will municipal employees. The city has recommended that anyone who does not need to be outside remain close to home, starting in the afternoon.

In Gush Etzion, school ended at 1:15p.m. on Wednesday, and the Israel Electric Corporation (IEC) brought in a generator.

Jerusalem Mayor Moshe Lion said, "I recommend to everyone not to travel during the snow, since there is a chance of skidding. It is better to stay near your home. In any case, the municipality will clear main roads for urgent travel. Thousands of Jerusalem's municipal workers will work all night to help the homeless."

He added, "According to all forecasts, tomorrow morning Jerusalem will be beautiful."

In the Binyamin Regional Council, which also distributed generators to locations prone to electrical outages, school will end at 2:00p.m. Towns in the region which can expect an accumulation of snow include Psagot, Ofra, Kokhav Ya'akov, Tel Tzion, Gush Shiloh, Eli, Givat Asaf, Ateret, Harasha, Maaleh Levona, and Givon Hahadasha.

The storm is expected to bring 20 centimeters (7.87 inches) or more of snow to locations above 700 meters in altitude.

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