Israeli Weather Service Launches New Rain Analysis Map to Replace Defunct Radar

Map available online considered temporary measure until rain radar, out of use for nearly a month, is repaired or replaced

Nir Hasson
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Screenshot of the Israel Meteorological Service rain prediction map, January 1, 2019.
Screenshot of the Israel Meteorological Service rain prediction map, January 1, 2019.Credit: Israel Meteorological Service
Nir Hasson

The Israel Meteorological Service has uploaded a new rain analysis map to its website, to temporarily replace defunct weather radar that broke down in December. The service's technicians are still trying to repair the radar, dysfunctional for nearly a month, along with Israeli Air Force technicians.

The new map analyzes weather data from automated rainfall stations every 10 minutes, using open data as well as data not available to the public, such as the radar used by the Israel Air Force and the Water Authority.

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The head of the Israel Meteorological Service, Nir Stav, said the new map provides "the rain situation, as deduced from the tools we have at our disposal in real time. The more data we have from the stations and the radars, the more precise the picture will be."

The meteorological service radar, located at the Beit Dagan meteorological station near Ramle, in central Israel, had been open to public use and provided immediate warnings of rain clouds throughout the country.

In internal documents, the service admitted that it was of "critical importance to saving lives."

The Israeli service also uses rainfall prediction from Cyprus's weather radar and Stav said he hoped the service could cooperate with Jordan’s meteorological service as well.

According to Stav, the fact that the radar is outmoded, installed 21 years ago, makes it very difficult to repair. "We are trying in every way possible to make it usable but there is no choice. We’ll have to buy a new one," he said.