Last Month Was Nearly the Wettest January Ever

flooding israel
A flooded street in Nahariya in January. (David Cohen/Flash90)

January 2020 was overall the third wettest January since records were kept, the Meteorological Service said, and in many places, it was the wettest ever. The average rainfall in most areas was 150% of the average that falls every year, and in some instances over 200%. The last time rain fell in the amount it did this past month was in January 1969 and January 1974, the Service said.

The biggest recipients of rain in a month that will go down in history were towns on the northern coast, the western Galilee, and the Ramot Menashe areas. In some towns, recorded rainfall was 250% the average for a normal year. Also getting far more rain than normal was the southern Dan region, including south Tel Aviv, Holon and Bat Yam.

The Mikveh Yisrael measuring station near Holon showed that 427 millimeters of rain fell during the month, three times the average amount, and the most ever recorded for a January in the station’s 100-plus years of operation. At nearby Beit Dagan, 264 millimeters were measured, two and a half times the average amount.

January also featured lower than average temperatures, although they were not record setting – largely due to a warming trend that took place mid-month. After weekend rain, the forecast for the coming days is for milder weather, with the next storm system set to visit the country over the weekend, forecasters said.

All that rain has done wonders for the Kinneret. Between Sunday and Monday mornings, the northern freshwater lake’s water level rose another 2.5 centimeters. A “full” Kinneret – which would entail opening sluice gates to allow water to flow out to the Jordan River, a rare event in recent years – is only 1.42 meters away, a goal forecasters believe will be met, given the remaining months of winter and the ongoing runoff that continues to make its way to the Kinneret.

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