A new winter storm started to batter Lebanon on Monday noon, spreading heavy rainfalls, snow, speedy winds and thunderstorms across the country, with weather forecasters expecting the tempest to recede as of Thursday. Meanwhile, the Civil Aviation Department at the Rafik Hariri International Airport said on Monday the weather in Lebanon will be cloudy and rainy on Tuesday, with a noticeable drop in temperatures. Snow is expected to fall at an altitude of 800 meters, the forecast added.

Temperatures will range between 5 and 17 degrees Celsius along the coast, between 2 and 10 degrees in the highlands and between 1 degree below zero Celsius and 12 degrees in the Bekaa Valley. The forecast called for southwesterly winds blowing at a speed varying between 15 and 30 kilometers per hour (km/h), and might reach 70 km/h at night with poor visibility in the mountains.

However, the Agricultural Research Institute in Tal Amara said on Monday snow is to fall on areas at an altitude of 300 meters on Tuesday morning.

Southern regions saw torrential rains and biting cold on Monday afternoon, with hailstorms hitting most of the South.

In Sidon, hailstorms, strong winds and sea currents shut down the city's harbor. Heavy rains left the southern port city's streets flooded and turned them into fast-flowing rivers.

In the mountainous Chouf regions, snow fell in the Higher Chouf, while heavy rain and fog covered all of the regions there.

A severe snowstorm gripped Lebanon last month, when snow fell along the coast for the first time in years. It isolated several villages across the country, damaged agricultural crops and played havoc with electricity and telephone cables.

Separately, residents of the southern regions which had been rocked by an earthquake earlier last week urged the relevant authorities on Monday to provide them with the assistance they need with the start of the current storm.

In a statement, the residents said that several buildings had suffered cracked walls, causing rainwater to penetrate into their homes.

Burj Rahal Mayor Hassan Hammoud called on the government to deal with the issue as soon as possible and also to compensate the southerners for the losses inflicted on them by the earthquake.

An earthquake measuring 5.0 on the open-ended Richter scale rocked Lebanon on Friday, injuring 10 people and sending panicked residents out into the streets in the South of the country.