Kinneret Rises 6 Centimeters in a Single Day

The first snow of the season in the Golan Heights, northern Israel, Wednesday. (Basel Awidat/Flash90)

The city of Nazareth was essentially shut down Thursday morning, after two weather-related incidents halted traffic on major thoroughfares. High winds and heavy rains caused major flooding in the city and many surrounding communities, and caused a wall of a multistory building to buckle. No one was reported missing in the incident, but most city streets were closed as a result. Flooding was reported in many towns in the north, and a glitch in the traffic light system in Tel Aviv, combined with heavy rain, brought traffic to a standstill.

But the gishmei brachah that have been falling since Wednesday afternoon have done wonders for the Kinneret and underground aquifers, as well as many streams in the north. In just one day the Kinneret rose 6 centimeters, 4.5 of those centimeters after sundown Wednesday through Thursday at 6:00 a.m. The current storm is expected to raise the Kinneret by much more, as rain is expected to get even heavier throughout the day Thursday, further strengthening the flow of water from streams.

So far, Carmiel has been the biggest recipient of rain, with 146 millimeters of moisture recorded as of 6:00 Thursday morning. Carmiel was followed by Horshim in central Israel, (132 mm), Mount Canaan in northern Israel (126 mm), and Merom Golan (120 mm). The Hermon remained closed, as 40 centimeters of snow were now piled up on the upper levels of the mountain, with temperatures below freezing.

In Tel Aviv, only 10 millimeters of rain fell, and in Yerushalayim and Ashkelon, only 2 millimeters fell. That is likely to change, as the storm system – dubbed Iris by weather pros – moves south. Another 50-75 millimeters of rain is expected by the end of Shabbos, when things should clear up, forecasters said.