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Monday is expected to be one of the stormiest and rainiest of the winter, with large quantities of rain expected even in the Arava Desert and in Eilat. According to the meteorological services company Meteo-Tech, the rain, which was forecast to begin overnight, could amount to between 50 and 100 millimeters. The rain will let up Tuesday but will resume on Wednesday.

Mt. Hermon could see snow.

Two different weather systems are coming into contact with each other, creating conditions for heavy rains and high winds. Hot, humid air moved in from the equatorial region, while cool air has moved in from Turkey, creating unstable weather conditions. Rain will fall today from the Galilee to the Eilat region. Temperatures will drop drastically, perhaps by as much as 10 degrees Celsius over 24 hours in hilly regions.

In the past two days forecasters have repeatedly warned of possible flash floods in desert river beds and flooding in the main cities. In Eilat, which is expected to see rain equivalent to four years' average fall, special preparations are underway and hiking in the region has been banned.

Water officials are waiting expectantly for the rainfall after several mainly dry weeks. Rivers and streams have dried up somewhat but as a result of a strike by Water Authority employees no current data on the state of the country's reservoirs and aquifers is available.