Gishmei Brachah Bring More Than Half of Annual Rainfall So Far, Officials Say

YERUSHALAYIM -
A Snowcat drives up a slope on Mount Hermon ski resort, last week. (Basel Awidat/Flash90)

Israelis feared that they would be subject to a major drought this year when November passed with barely a drop of rain, but December has been a far different story. As of last weekend, more than half the average annual rainfall in the Galilee and Golan has fallen, with some 300 millimeters of rain on average. The gishmei brachah come after three years of far below average rainfall in Israel’s farming centers.

While the Kinneret is still significantly below its full level, Israel’s largest freshwater lake is likely to rise significantly in the coming weeks. Streams in northern Israel are flowing at their strongest levels in years, and all that water will eventually find its way to the Kinneret. The flow of streams is the strongest since at least 2012, Water Authority officials said, auguring positive results for the season.

With winter really just getting underway, much more rain is likely on the horizon, b’ezras Hashem — with what forecasters said was the largest storm in nearly a decade now forming over the Mediterranean. According to forecasters, chances are very good that the storm, which will feature hurricane-force winds and large amounts of precipitation, could blow in for a weekend visit. The storm is accompanied by very low temperatures, with snow possible in higher elevations.