Jerusalemites Hoping for Snow

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JERUSALEM, Israel -- After a very dry and summer-like November, winter is hitting Israel with a passion.  Snow has already fallen on Mount Hermon -- home to Israel's only ski resort --  along the border with Syria and Lebanon with more expected in the coming days.

Jerusalem usually sees snow about every three years and often it doesn't accumulate but it snowed in the Holy City the last two years.  It's also very rare to have snow in December here.

In any case, it doesn't take much of the white stuff to close down schools and businesses as drivers are usually urged to stay off the roads.  Coastal residents often risk the drive anyway to see the capital in snow.

Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat made an appearance on Tuesday at the Municipal Maintenance Center to inspect snowplows, salt throwers and other equipment.

"Snow in Jerusalem is a celebration for Jerusalemites and the many visitors who come to see the most beautiful city in the world painted white," Barkat was quoted as saying in the Jerusalem Post. Barkat added that he hoped the snow would not disappoint especially the children.

Israel has a wet winter season, which usually starts in November and goes through about March.  Then there is no rain in spring, summer and fall.

November this year was uncharacteristically dry and warm, with temperatures reaching into the mid-80s Farenheit some days.

But a cold front from Russia is bringing with it heavy rains and strong winds and meteorologists say Jerusalem could see snow before the end of the week.

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