Sand, rain, snow, and high winds have created a very unusual weekend of weather in Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, and Egypt. Several individual reports I’ve heard have stated that they’ve never seen anything like it. Snow has fallen in Jerusalem, Amman, and Damascus. Precipitation levels are as high as 8 inches (209 mm) in Upper Galilee and there’s nearly 8 feet (240 cm) of snow on the Mount Hermon ski slopes. Wind gusts were reported at up to 70 mph (120 kph). Israel’s ambulance services responded to 129 accidents on Sunday alone. Egypt and Syria each closed their largest ports and 28 buildings collapsed or partially collapsed in Alexandria, Egypt. Haaretz reports that an ancient port at Caesarea was destroyed. There were many injuries and at least 19 related deaths.
This AP story does the best job of covering the effects around the Middle East. The Jerusalem Post and Haaretz stories include photos.