Fierce Winter Storm Impacts the Middle East Dec 13, 2013

Rare Middle East Snow Storm

A major storm system impacting the Middle East has brought portions of the region to a standstill and has added on to the hardships of the people displaced by the Syrian civil war. Snow in the Jerusalem isn’t all that uncommon but large amounts, as was seen with this storm, are rare.

Photo: Ramot, Jerusalem,  Rochel Sylvetsky

From the LA Times: “In almost all cases of snowfall since 1950, Jerusalem’s bounties were light” — less than an inch, the Jerusalem Post said, citing figures from the Israel Meteorological Service.”

Photo: Egyreports

Cold weather also enveloped Egypt as area of low pressure spun over the Middle East bringing a blanket of snow to portions of the region, in what some are saying, for the first time in 112 years.

Photo: Egytian Independent

From the AP, “The cold weather was part of a storm, dubbed Alexa, which has been pounding much of Lebanon and parts of northern Syria since Wednesday, pushing temperatures below zero and dumping snow and heavy rains. The snow has heaped another layer of misery on the already grim existence of many of the more than 2 million Syrians who have fled the civil war raging in their homeland. Israelis were told over media and public broadcasts on Friday not to enter or leave Jerusalem and some 1,500 people were evacuated from stranded vehicles overnight, said police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld.”

From Hazem Bader/AFP/Getty Images: Israeli soldiers patrol in the snowy city center of the West Bank town of Hebron.

From the LA Times: Nearly three feet of snow closed roads in and out of Jerusalem, which is set in high hills, and thousands in and around the city were left without power. Israeli soldiers and police rescued  hundreds trapped in their cars by snow and ice. In the West Bank, the branches of olive trees groaned under the weight of snow.

Gretchen Mishek



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