Rainfall Levels Exceed Average in Many Parts of Country

Heavy rain fell yesterday from the Upper Galilee to Ashdod, with the Meteo-Tech company reporting that in many areas of the country, rainfall amounts have thus far exceed the norm for late January.

By the afternoon yesterday for example, 30-50 millimeters of rain had fallen in the Tel Aviv and Rehovot areas, while slightly smaller amounts (20-40 millimeters) fell in the north. By evening, the north came in for the hardest rainfall.

Heavy rain also disrupted traffic on several inner city roads. Traffic on Ramat Gan's Hayarden Street was held up when two vehicles stalled in a huge puddle - the drivers were rescued from their cars unscathed. Traffic was held up also on Kurazin Street in Givatayim, also due to flooding; and puddles and heavy rain caused congestion on other streets in Tel Aviv and Rehovot. Two apartments on Yerushalayim Street in Ramat Gan were also flooded; local fire fighters were called to help limit the damage.

Weather forecasts for today predict continued rainstorms. The rain should fall from the Galilee to the Negev; and flood alerts are in effect. Snow could fall in high-lying areas in the north. The rain should taper off by the afternoon, and skies should clear tomorrow.

Clear weather tomorrow will bring to an end a relatively long period (five days) of consecutive rainfall.

In Haifa, cumulative rainfall since the start of the winter totals 520 millimeters, which is 136 percent higher than the norm for the season. The total average winter rainfall for Haifa is 560 millimeters; this year, the city is likely to reach that total at the end of this current stretch of rain.

So far this winter, 350 millimeters of rain have fallen in the Lake Kinneret area. On average, 430 millimeters of rain fall in this area during the winter. In the Upper Galilee, 640 millimeters of rain have fallen, as compared to an average winter total of 800 millimeters.

Elsewhere in the country, however, rainfall levels are not higher than average. In Jerusalem, just 310 millimeters of rain have fallen, which is just 85 percent of the regular amount for this late January date. In Tel Aviv, 250 millimeters of rain have fallen - representing 65 percent of the expected total for late January.