Change Expected in Israeli Weather; Rain, Cold on the Way

YERUSHALAYIM -
A firefighter sprays water around a house in Nataf as wildfire burns on the hills and mountains around it, outside Jerusalem November 25, 2016. REUTERS/Ammar Awad TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
A firefighter sprays water around a house in Nataf as a wildfire burns on the hills and mountains around it, Friday. (Reuters/Ammar Awad)

Israel was still on extremely high alert for the possibility of new fires breaking out, as the weather remained extremely dry. Humidity levels in almost every part of the country were in the single digits, and winds, which had died down somewhat over the weekend, were expected to pick up again on Sunday.

But all that is set to change midweek as a major winter storm is set to arrive in Israel. Winds will subside later Sunday and on Monday, forecasters said, only to pick up again on Tuesday – but this time, the winds will bring in not dry air from the east, but cold and damp air from the west. It’s a prelude to the major storm developing in the eastern Mediterranean, propelled by winter weather systems in Europe, that forecasters and ordinary Israelis hope and pray will bring an end to the devastating dry spell the country has undergone, along with its tragic consequences.

Daytime temperatures will remain relatively high for this time of year, but that too will change on Tuesday night into Wednesday, as cold air enters the region. Snow is expected on the Hermon and in the extreme north, while heavy rain and thunderstorms will hit the center and south of the country. The soaking should be sufficient to douse whatever remains of the fires that have been burning throughout the country over the past week, forecasters said. Rain will continue throughout the second half of the week, subsiding only on Shabbos, they added.