Residents of Sde Boker, Mitzpe Ramon, and other areas in southern Israel awake to fresh coating of snow. Schools in capital closed, bus service to Jerusalem canceled.

Residents of Mitzpe Ramon, Arad and Sde Boker in southern Israel awoke Thursday to a fresh coating of snow that started falling Wednesday night. Schools were closed in Arad and Mitzpe Ramon, as well as in the snow-covered capital Jerusalem.

Capital cloaked in white

Northern Israel, including areas in the Galilee and the Golan Heights also received their fair share of snow, leading to school closing and bus-service cancellations.

Due to the heavy snow in the capital, bus service to and from Jerusalem has been canceled, reports the Egged Bus Company spokesman. Many areas in northern Israel, including Safed and the Golan Heights, will also have no bus service due to the snow, as will Arad in the south.

As always the big winners from the snow are the kids, many of whom will enjoy a rare Israeli "snow day" Thursday. In Jerusalem and its outlying areas, as well as in most towns in the Galilee and Golan Heights, school has been canceled, leaving children to sledding, snow man building and other nobler pursuits.

As for the bigger kids, Hebrew University of Jerusalem students can also catch up on much needed sleep, as classes have been canceled at both university campuses.

Snow-logged north

Road closings are rampant, especially in the Golan Heights and other areas in northern Israel, and IDF snowplows are making a joint effort with local authorities to clear the main roads as quickly and efficiently as possible.

©Pini Yaron
Wintry Golan Heights

The mystic city of Safed was especially snow-logged, with three to eight inches of snow covering the city and still more coming. City schools were closed, as were the main roads into the city. Authorities are now battling to keep emergency routes in the city open, so that the sick and injured can be taken to the city's Ziv Medical Center.

In northern Israel, including the Galilee and the Golan Heights the snow has been coming down relentlessly, besieging local residents. The northern Golan Heights reported over 19 inches of snow, and many local communities in northern Israel report road closings as well as school cancellations.

The ski-resort in northern Israel's Mount Hermon is the big winner from the heavy snow (almost as much as the home bound school children), receiving a fresh coating of nearly three feet of snow which allows the resort to finally be opened for the first time this season. The resort remained closed Thursday due to blizzard-like conditions in the area.