Photo gallery: Winter storm blankets Jerusalem and the Golan

Snow is rare and never lasts for long in Israel’s capital, but when it comes it turns the city into an astounding winter wonderland. Enjoy these photos of the snow.

Snow falls in Jerusalem as storm Elpis hits nationwide, January 26, 2022. Photo by Noam Revkin Fenton/Flash90

NICKY BLACKBURN , Israel21c.org

Jerusalem Mayor Moshe Lion advised residents to stay indoors on Wednesday night, but when a rare snow storm blankets the city in around 4 inches of snow, nothing is going to stop people from rushing outdoors to enjoy a fleeting moment in the powdery stuff.

On Wednesday, the much anticipated storm Elpis finally reached Israel after dumping record amounts of snow on Greece and Turkey.

First it was the turn of Israel’s north in the morning, and by the evening snow began blanketing Israel’s capital in white.

Main roads were closed into the city, and schools were also shut on Thursday in Jerusalem and in the Golan Heights, which also saw heavy snow.

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City workers used 250 snow plows across Jerusalem and spread some 150 tons of salt on the road.

Jerusalem, which is at an elevation of 754 meters above sea level (about half a mile), gets snow every few years  For many residents of the city, young and old, it’s a joyful occasion.

The last big storm was in February last year, when up to 15 centimeters of snow fell in some areas of the city. In 2013, a major blizzard hit Jerusalem, dumping around 30 centimeters of snow, and knocking out power to several neighborhoods.

The severe storm also brought strong winds and heavy rain to other areas of Israel. The Mediterranean Coastal Cliffs Preservation Government Company advised people to avoid Israel’s coastal cliff strip, warning of possible collapses. The Kinneret Cities Association also ordered the closure of all beaches at the Sea of Galilee.

Israel21c Editor and Israel Director Nicky Blackburn has worked extensively as a journalist and editor both in Britain and Israel for a range of national and international publications including The Cambridge Evening News, London News, Travel Weekly, Israel High Tech Investor, and The Times of London. She was the Associate Editor at LINK Israel’s Business and Technology Magazine, and the High-Tech Correspondent for The Jerusalem Post.