Stormy Weekend Ahead as Winter Finally Arrives

Snow expected on Mount Hermon and Golan heights, heavy rains throughout Israel, accompanied by very strong winds and possible floods.

The weather this weekend and early next week is expected to be stormy, with heavy rains and snow on the Hermon. MeteoTech meteorologist Nachum Malik says local showers are expected throughout the country on Friday, possibly accompanied by thunderstorms.

Temperatures are expected to drop 2-3 degrees. On Saturday, rains are expected in the north, accompanied by very strong winds, reaching speeds of 50-110 km/h.

Rain in Holon
David Bachar

The rains will become stronger and spread to central Israel during the day, with thunder and lightning. Sandstorms are expected in the south.

The storm is expected to reach its peak Saturday night.

Malik says that on Saturday, "with the rains getting stronger, there is concern for flooding in the Western Galilee and along the Coastal Plain, including the Carmel foothills, especially after the fire. Saturday night and Sunday will be especially rainy. Very large quantities of rain are expected in the north and the center, and there is serious concern about flooding in the cities along the coast."

A further drop in temperatures is expected on Sunday. Snow is also expected to fall on Mount Hermon and possibly also on the higher peaks in the north. In the Negev local showers are expected.

"This is a system that is developing in our area and is expected to leave the area only on Monday afternoon," Malik explains.

Hebrew University climatologist Daniel Rosenfeld says that "some of that same cold air that has until recently been in Western Europe is now moving eastward. The main body of this cold air will reach Italy and Greece, and its eastern edges will also reach us, causing stormy weather during the weekend."

Professor Rosenfeld says that this may be the first of several systems that will bring to an end the dry skies of recent months. "The situation may repeat itself, but I cannot say that in the long term we will have a complete break of the drought."

Airports in Israel have begun to prepare for the storm. Airports Authority employees were told to protect smaller aircraft, especially those at the Dov and Herzliya airports, where small, private aircraft face the risk of being blown away by the winds.

In the southern coastal areas and the Negev they are preparing for flooding, and some 80 rescue volunteers are preparing for the likelihood of having to extricate persons caught in the expected floods.