by: Janet Aslin
Monday, 22 November, 2021 | The winter rains finally arrived in Israel over the weekend, refreshing the entire length and breadth of the country. Nearly two months after Sukkot (Feast of Booths), when the rainy season is typically expected, the rain fell in varying amounts from Israel’s northern border to the Negev desert in the south.
We had been waiting so long for this event that it was hard to actually believe the weather forecast could be correct when meteorologists announced a four-day storm on Wednesday evening. Thursday dawned clear and no rain fell. Consequently, I did not believe that evening’s renewed forecast for heavy rain, now set to begin on Friday. Leaving for work amid blue skies, I left my raincoat and umbrella behind.
By mid-morning, angry, gray clouds hovered overhead, and by early afternoon, Jerusalem’s streets were awash in water as the rainfall rushed down from higher elevations in the city. Leaving work, it was apparent there was a lesson to be learned: It never hurts to carry an umbrella this time of year.
The actual amount of the country’s first real rainfall varied significantly, with northern and coastal areas receiving the highest amounts. Kabri, a small kibbutz (collective community) in the western Galilee region, received 43.2 millimeters (1.7 in.) on Friday, while Beit Dagan, a coastal community, measured 45.7 millimeters (1.79 in.) on Saturday.
Sadly, two deaths have been attributed to the storm, as well as flooding and road closures in the central and coastal areas. Wet conditions caused several vehicles to skid off the road near the northern city of Tiberias, lightly to moderately injuring nine people in total.
Other areas of the country did not see heavy amounts of rain, although they were measurable and very welcome. For example, Jerusalem’s two-day total was 7.3 millimeters (0.28 in.), while Mitzpe Ramon, in the southern Negev, had 0.3 millimeters (.01 in.) on Friday, with no precipitation on Saturday.
Rain continued falling gently in Israel’s capital on Sunday, soaking into the parched earth. Monday morning dawned clear with freshly scented air to remind us of the recent rainfall. Hopefully we have just experienced the first of many rainy days to come this winter.
Posted on November 22, 2021
Source: (Bridges for Peace, November 22, 2021)
Photo Credit: Sarah Yoder/bridgesforpeace.com
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