by: Janet Aslin
Tuesday, 7 February 2023 | In mid-January, Israel’s Meteorology Service reported Israel’s driest winter in 60 years, according to the Jerusalem Post. That began to change on January 30 when the winter rains finally arrived in Israel.
In six days, Israel’s capital received a total of 103.6 millimeters (4.07 in.), with most of the precipitation falling on January 31 and February 1. Rain fell over most of the country last week, including desert areas in southern Israel, which typically get much less rainfall. Arad and Beersheva both received 3.5 millimeters (0.14 in.) on February 1, while the Besor Farm, on the border of Egypt and Gaza, was drenched with 10.3 millimeters (0.41 in.).
The level of the Sea of Galilee rose 9 centimeters (3.54 in.) during the week of rainfall. It is currently 1.64 meters (5.38 ft.) from the upper red line, the point at which water must be released from the lake or flooding around the shoreline will occur.
For the most part, last week’s rains were gentle ones, slowly soaking the parched earth. The outlook is much different for the country during the first part of this week as a storm named Barbara arrived on Israel’s coasts early Monday morning. After bringing snow to Athens and other areas of Greece, the weather forecasters are predicting heavy rain and gusting winds for most of Israel.
In contrast to the gentle rains we experienced last week, the Israel Meteorological Service is predicting downpours that may result in 15 millimeters (0.59 in.) of rain in a six-hour period before the rain tapers off on Wednesday.
On Monday, snow is expected on Mt. Hermon, Israel’s tallest peak, with the possibility of snow in higher elevations in the center of the country on Tuesday. The coastal areas will get the strongest winds, causing waves 6.7 –7.9 meters (22 – 26 ft.) high.
The nation’s emergency services have been preparing to meet situations caused by flooding, power outages and other storm-related emergencies.
Jerusalem woke up to strong winds on Monday with heavy rainfall, and even hail in some parts of the city, arriving late in the day. The rain continued steadily through the night with Tuesday morning revealing small lakes in parking lots and streams flowing at the edges of streets.
It remains to be seen whether or not this will be the storm that will bring snowfall to the nation’s capital. Temperatures hovering around the freezing point are in the forecast for the city that sits at an altitude of 754 meters (2,474 ft.) so it may be that snow is on the way!
Posted on February 7, 2023
Source: (Bridges for Peace, February 7, 2023)
Photo Credit: Precious Fleming/bridgesforpeace.com
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