Gishmei Brachah Add to Kinneret

A flooded street in Ashkelon (Ashkelon Rescue Services)

After a relatively balmy week, gishmei brachah have returned to Israel in force – with the Kinneret rising another 6.5 centimeters just since last Thursday, when heavy storms hit northern Israel. Those storms moved south over the weekend, and were the leading edge of a major winter storm system that will move over the country throughout the week.

Heavy rains overnight Saturday flooded roads throughout the country. Rescue workers were called out to extract a driver in Netivot, whose vehicle was overcome by flood waters. The driver managed to get out of the vehicle but was unable to make his way to dry land, and took refuge on the vehicle’s roof, remaining there until rescue workers arrived.

In a second rescue effort, workers extricated a man who was stuck in his vehicle in Ashkelon who was unable to open the vehicle’s door.

This week’s storm system include two major storms, one of which will reach its apex on Tuesday, and a second that will hit Thursday night and Friday – and that is the one that may bring long-awaited snow to Yerushalayim, forecasters said. Temperatures will drop steadily during the week, and a cold front at the end of the week will bring what are expected to be the lowest temperatures of the season so far.

Since November, the Kinneret has risen nearly 1.25 meters, and now needs less than two meters for a full lake. Meanwhile, the streams and rivers in the north continue to flow with great strength, and much of that water will eventually end up in the Kinneret as well. Officials believe that another one or two major storms such as the country experienced in recent weeks will be sufficient to ensure a full Kinneret.