First Rains of Season Slam Southern Israel, Spread to the Center

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Hail which fell in Southern Arava, November 1, 2020.
Hail which fell in Southern Arava, November 1, 2020. Credit: Noam Weiss

Southern Israel saw the first rains of the winter on Sunday, accompanied by hail in the Eilat and southern Arava area, which is expected to spread to the center and later to most of the country.

Storm clouds arrived in Israel on Sunday, along with hail and thunderstorms – and flooding is possible in eastern streams. A road leading to Eilat was closed temporarily due to the heavy rains.

Monday morning is forecast to be wintry with intermittent rains. Tuesday is expected to be similar, and rain clouds will gather on Wednesday morning and much larger amounts of rain are forecast – in the tens of millimeters – so flash floods are possible in the eastern streams as well as flooding along the coast. The rain will spread to the Negev in the afternoon, with flash flooding possible there too.

Rain will fall from the north through to the Negev on Thursday and it will be unseasonably cold. Flash floods are possible in the streams in the east and south and with flooding in cities along the coast. The rain will tape off in the afternoon.

October 2020 was one of the hottest since weather data began being collected in Israel – and almost completely dry, said the Israel Meteorological Service. In eastern Israel, daytime temperatures in October were the hottest ever, and in other regions it was the second or third hottest October in the past 80 years. September was also the hottest September in the history of Israel, so the past two months were unprecedentedly warm.

Since the establishment of Israel in 1948, only three other Octobers have been as dry as last month: 1948, 1964 1992. What all these years have in common – in addition to the hot and dry weather – is that they were all U.S. presidential election years, and the Democratic candidate won in all these years, says the Meteorological Service.

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