A sluggish, moisture-laden storm system will bring a mixed bag of rain, sleet and snow to the eastern Mediterranean coast to close the week. Gusty winds will also accompany this blast of nasty weather.
While the wintry weather should be focused across the mountains of Syria, Lebanon, Jordan and Israel, lower elevations, such as Jerusalem, can expect at least a bit of snow Thursday night into Friday.
Several batches of precipitation will slide through the region Thursday through Saturday as the storm system crawls eastward. By Saturday, the stormiest weather should be confined to Israel and far northeastern Egypt.
Although a major snowstorm in Jerusalem is not expected, the cooler-than-normal weather combined with plentiful moisture should set the stage for some snow to mix with rain, leading to a covering of snow.
Wind gusts around 40 kph are also expected along the coastal plain including cities such as Gaza and Tel Aviv.
In the lower elevations, especially near the Mediterranean coast, temperatures will be warm enough to support rain instead of snow. Some places can receive 25-50 mm of rain which could lead to flooding problems.
According to AccuWeather.com Meteorologist Eric Leister, "Rainfall does not have to be particularly heavy in this part of the world to cause flooding due to the varied and mountains terrain."
Snowfall in Jerusalem is not all that uncommon and occurs every couple of years. Significant accumulating snow is more rare.
Cold weather has dominated much of the region since last week and the chill is expected to persist through the weekend. Jerusalem has averaged 2 degrees Celsius below normal.
Over the past two years, the temperatures in Jerusalem has dropped to 0 degrees Celsius several times. Similar readings are expected at night over the next few days. This is well below normal. In fact, the city's lowest normal temperature is 5 degrees Celsius.