Winter or Summer? Weather, Calendar Seem to Disagree

Under threatening skies, Israeli cowboys collect a herd of cattle in northern Israel, Tuesday. (Maor Kinsbursky/Flash90)

Israelis awakening Wednesday could be forgiven for thinking it was Rosh Chodesh Shevat, instead of Tammuz – as heavy rain, often accompanied by thunder and lightning, fell throughout the country. Heavy rain fell in several cities, including Ashkelon, which got 38 millimeters of rain early Wednesday. In nearby Ashdod, only one millimeter of rain fell, but Sederot received 49 millimeters of rain, all of it falling between 6:00 a.m. and approximately 8:00 a.m. Wednesday morning.

Heavy rain also fell in the Tel Aviv region, and floods due to backed-up sewers occurred in several neighborhoods. Tel Aviv itself recorded just one millimeter of rain Wednesday morning, but Bat Yam, just to the south, recorded 36 millimeters between Tuesday and Wednesday mornings. Rain also fell in the western Galilee, causing blackouts in Ma’alot and Carmiel.

While unusual, rain in the middle of June is not unheard of, forecasters said – and it is definitely a temporary phenomenon. The rain is expected to continue sporadically through Wednesday before clearing out Wednesday night and Thursday – and by Shabbos, the weather is expected to be sunny and very summer-like, with temperature highs of close to 35 degrees Celsius (95 degrees Fahrenheit).