The month of January saw the highest number of rainy days in one month on record in Israel, according figures from the Israel Meteorological Service.
Rain fell on 29 out of 31 days in January, defined by the Meteorological Service as registering at least 0.1 millimeters of rainfall.
After a careful comparison of January statistics from measuring stations across Israel, the Meteorological Service found that in most of the northern part of the country there were at least 26 days of rainfall, compared to the previous record of 25 in January 1947.
In Nahariyya, and in the Galilee region, there were 29 rainy days. This is higher than past records. January 1969 saw 24 days of rainfall, as did February 1992. These years saw some of the highest levels of rainfall since records began.
Measuring stations in Nahariyya and the Galilee registered a new record in the number of rainy days in a row, with rain falling for 27 days in a row, from January 5 to 31. The former record was held by the Druze village of Yarka, where rain fell for 23 days in a row in February and March 1987.
According to Dr Amos Porat of the Meteorological Service, there was 250-250 milimeters of rainfall in the north of Israel, 1.5 to 2 times greater than the multi-year average for rainfall in January.
This was despite the fact that in the central region rainfall was close to the multi-year average, and rainfall in the Negev region was lower than usual for the time of year.
“These figures are interesting in a statistical sense,” said Porat. “But we should not conclude anything regarding climate trends from them.”
The rains have raised the water-level of the Kinneret by 55 centimeters in January. Currently it stands at - 213.11 centimeters, which is 11 centimeters below the Kinneret’s red line.
February has been the rainiest month in recent years, and this year it is likely that , for the first time in almost a decade, February rainfall levels will bring the total rainfall for 2012 above the multi-year average. An dry February, however, would change the balance and lead to a disappointing winter in terms of the precipitation balance.