Jerusalem was visited by bursts of snow showers on Monday as a three-day storm continues to set upon Israel, and the Israel Electric Corporation (IEC) has declared a state of emergency in the capital in anticipation of the coming deluge.
A full 47 millimeters (nearly two inches) of rain fell in Jerusalem on Monday, making it the highest amount of rainfall in the entire country. While snow also fell down upon the capital, it did not stick or build up – but that's to change on Monday night, as Jerusalemites can anticipate to wake to a white morning on Tuesday.
IEC Director Maj. Gen. (res.) Yiftah Ron-Tal updated Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz (Likud) on Monday regarding the company's preparations for electricity disturbances in Jerusalem, after snow began falling earlier in the day.
A situation room has been opened in Jerusalem and an emergency situation has been declared by the IEC.
The corporation is to reinforce its crews on the ground, as well as its staff on the 103 telephone hotline which is in direct contact with the Jerusalem municipality and the police, passing out information to the interested public and fielding reports of power outages.
On Sunday, the IEC deployed a mobile power station to the Atarot neighborhood in the north of Jerusalem, so as to back-up the power supply in the capital. It has also dispatched generators to remote towns where access has been limited due to the weather conditions.
IEC is preparing for unusually high electricity consumption on Monday night due to the rapid drop in temperature over the last day.
While the storm weakened somewhat on Monday, the cold wave blowing in from Russia continues to move in, and heavy rains and winds blustered throughout the country, accompanied by thunderstorms and hail. Flood warnings remain in effect for certain locations.
The rain will continue intermittently overnight, with potential snowfall in the north. That snow is to gather on mountains over 700 meters (just under 2,300 feet) in height in the center of the country, including in Jerusalem, and build overnight.
In light of the approaching snow, police are preparing to close Highways 1 and 443 that connect the coastal region and Jerusalem on Monday night.