Israel Faces an 'Unseasonably Cold' Week as Rain Tapers Off

Showers and thunderstorms spreading from Israel's north to the center are expected overnight on Tuesday, while Wednesday will see more rain

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Haaretz
A flooded street in Lod on Sunday.
A flooded street in Lod on Sunday.Credit: Ilan Assayag
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Haaretz

Israel’s frigid weather is predicted to continue through the coming week despite Monday’s respite from torrential rain that drenched the country over the previous several days.

According to the Israel Meteorological Service, temperatures will remain “unseasonably cold” at least through Thursday, with showers and isolated thunderstorms spreading from the north to the center of the country overnight on Tuesday. Wednesday will see more rain.

Temperatures in Jerusalem, which is at a relatively high elevation, will hover between 2 and 7 degrees Celsius (36 to 45 Fahrenheit). More snow is predicted on Mt. Hermon and elsewhere in the northern Golan Heights and there is a risk of flash flooding in the Judean Desert and Dead Sea region.

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Thursday will bring a chance of light rain, in addition to temperatures as low as 1 degree Celsius (34 Fahrenheit) in some areas. The mercury isn’t expected to exceed 10 degrees Celsius (50 Fahrenheit) this week in Jerusalem. The weather service has issued a “severe” alert against swimming in the Mediterranean on Monday due to very high waves.

On Sunday, emergency services were dispatched to rescue stranded motorists from flooded streets in the Tel Aviv area. Near the West Bank settlement of Karnei Shomron, first responders rescued a man and an 11-year-old boy from the Kaneh stream.

In the greater Tel Aviv area, emergency services rescued a man and a girl who became stranded in their car as a road flooded in Kafr Qasem. South of Tel Aviv, in the vicinity of Nes Tziona and Rehovot, stranded motorists were also rescued from flooded streets. Early Sunday morning, streets in Lod, near Ben-Gurion International Airport, flooded and the police and municipal authorities decided to evacuate several homes.

The stormy weather also led to the largest rise in the water level of the Sea of Galilee since the beginning of the winter. According to the Water Authority, from Thursday to Sunday morning, an average of between 60 and 70 millimeters of rain fell in the Sea of Galilee drainage basin, boosting water levels in the lake by 5 centimeters (2 inches). Since October, the lake has risen 20 centimeters, but in an average rainy season as a whole, the level of the lake rises by eight times that amount.

Last month, winter storm Carmel dropped more than 100 millimeters (nearly 4 inches) of rain on parts of the country in a three-day period, briefly flooding the Tel Aviv promenade and causing damage across the country. One case of hypothermia took the life of a homeless 40-year-old Tel Aviv man.

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