For you people abroad it probably sounds weird because you are used to cold weather and snow. However, in Israel we are not because, most of the time, the weather is warm.
Northern Israel (including Zfat) and Jerusalem are awaiting a huge snow storm. Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Shabbat will be pretty bad. My weather report app predicts 30 cm of snow on Thursday morning.
Yesterday I went to the haredi supermarket chain Osher Ad in order to get all my grocery shopping done this week. I usually do this every Thursday night but, due to the upcoming snow, most shops in town will be closed.
When I got to the Osher Ad, I thought it would be empty because yesterday was only Monday. Surprise, surprise. When I got there, no Agalot (trolleys) were left and I had to organize one from the parking lot outside. The supermarket was so packed, it was unbelievable. Much worse than before Rosh Hashana.
Jerusalem residents are panicking, as snow always means closed shops and no buses. Israelis don’t know how to deal with snow and thus no one goes to work. Everybody stays home and people need to eat. This is why people are storming the supermarkets before the disaster hits.
Today it is very windy and cold outside. The wind is even getting stronger towards the evening. A hurricane – like snow storm is supposed to come and temperatures are going down to zero and even – 1 degrees. I set up two little shelters for our street cat family outside. I have no idea whether this is enough and my worst nightmare would be finding them all dead on Thursday morning. Little Jerry I keep inside but I cannot rescue the whole feral cat world of our neighbourhood.
Jerusalem’s Mayor Nir Barkat announced yesterday that all roads leading to Jerusalem will be closed as soon as the first snow flakes are coming down. Israelis are neither equipped with tires for the winter nor with chains. The last heavy snow storm in December 2013 caused hundreds of car drivers to be stuck on highways and thus had to be rescued by the IDF.
In case you are a tourist: Look for a hotel or hostel with a good heating system ! Most hostels (except for the Avraham at Kikar HaDavidka) don’t have heating. They may give you a useless electric heater (blowing out some hot air) for additional cash.
What’s also important is hot water for the shower. Most Arab hostels located in the Old City don’t provide hot water for their guests. The reason is that they want to spend too much money on electricity. The only good place I can recommend is the Avraham Hostel in Jerusalem !