Israelis got stuck with their vehicle while trying to cross Sorek River (Nahal Sorek) in the Judean Hills, on February 21, 2015. Stormy weather caused flooding of rivers across Israel over the weekend.
Posts Tagged ‘flood’
The first snow of the year fell on the upper slopes of the Hermon Tuesday, the Kinneret began to rise slowly and hopefully dramatically, and the forecast for the rest of the week is rain, rain and more rain.
Up to four inches of rain has been predicted in some northern and western areas of the country. Unlike the first rain that fell last month, the central Negev south to Eilat are not likely to see more than a few drops.
The rest of the country already has recorded up to double the average rainfall for this time of year, and by those numbers will rise by the end of the week of the forecast are correct.
Israel’s water desalination system has made the country less dependent on the Kinneret, where the shoreline has been receding for most of the past two decades following the record-breaking winters of 1991-1993 during which time the dams were opened to prevent flooding of Tiberias and roads and communities situated on the lake.
However, the low level of the lake has forced the Water Authority to pump more water from underground aquifers, the country’s largest water source, seriously depleting them. The Kinneret now is a fraction of an inch from the “red line,” which is 213 meters below earth and 4.2 meters below the level at which dams would have to be opened to prevent flooding.
The chances of that happening are slim, unless Israel gets drenched as it did in 1991-92.
Last year, a wicked snowstorm hit the country in December, much earlier than usual, and everyone was calculating that the Kinneret would be full by the end of the year,
But God reminded us that He and not the weather forecasters and Kinneret watchers bring rain. Israel went through one of the worst – meaning dry – winter on record after the early snow, so we are simply going to remain optimistic but not jump the gun this time.
Some weather models predicted that November would be wetter than normal but that December will be dry.
The models have a poor record of accuracy. The first part of the prediction has been on the money, and it is hoped that the second part will be wrong.
Below is a map showing the percent of rain fall for this time of year. The Western Negev has received three times the normal amount.
Israel will enjoy average rainfall this winter, according to the Israel Meteorological Service, and there is a good chance that the dam at the Kinneret (Sea of Galilee) will have to be opened up before summer because of the increasing use of desalinated water from the Mediterranean Sea.
The Meteorological Service said its annual winter forecast has a margin of error of up to 25 percent but generally does not miss the mark more than 10 percent in either direction.
The sea has replaced the Kinneret as Israel’s largest source of water, not including the underground aquifer system that is being replenished thanks to the use of more desalinated water.
The Kinneret rose approximately 2.5 meters (8 feet) last winter, which brought average or slightly more than average rainfall in most regions.
As of Monday morning, the Kinneret was exactly 2.5 meters below the level at which the dams would have to be opened to prevent flooding in the beachside city of Tiberias and neighboring farms and tourist parks. If the forecast turns out to be accurate, the Kinneret will rise to near flood level this year.
Opening the dams would dump more water into the Jordan River, which feeds the Dead Sea that is in desperate need of more water.
In Israel, the prayer that cites God as the “rainmaker” began on Shemini Azereth-Simchat Torah, the day after Sukkot. The actually request for rain began two weeks ago, on the seventh day of the Hebrew month of Cheshvan in Israel. The prayer is not said until December 4 outside of Israel.
If rain does not fall within 30 days of the request, special prayers and fast days are held. From a climactic standpoint, Israel received its first rains a month ago during the Sukkot holiday, when a measurable amount of rain, although only 1 millimeter, was recorded in most of the country.
Most of the rain and snow in Israel usually falls in the months of December, January and February.
British rocker Roger Waters published an open letter calling on fellow musicians to join a boycott of Israel.
“I write to you now, my brothers and sisters in the family of Rock and Roll, to ask you to join with me, and thousands of other artists around the world, to declare a cultural boycott on Israel,” Waters wrote in the letter dated Aug. 18. The letter was previously drafted in July.
The former Pink Floyd front man said he was inspired to release the letter after British violinist Nigel Kennedy at a recent promenade concert at the Albert Hall in London called Israel an apartheid state. The BBC said it would remove his remarks in rebroadcasts of the concert.
Waters, who has been active in the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions, or BDS, movement for at least seven years, referred to the boycott of apartheid South Africa, saying that first a trickle of artists refused to play there, leading to a “flood.”
He singled out Stevie Wonder’s canceling of a performance for the Friends of the Israel Defense Forces as a recent success story. Wonder quit his participation in the December fundraiser at the last minute under pressure from many corners.
“Please join me and all our brothers and sisters in global civil society in proclaiming our rejection of Apartheid in Israel and occupied Palestine, by pledging not to perform or exhibit in Israel or accept any award or funding from any institution linked to the government of Israel, until such time as Israel complies with international law and universal principles of human rights,” Waters wrote.
Waters recently came under fire for using at in his concerts a huge inflated balloon in the shape of a wild boar with a prominently visible Star of David, as well as a hammer and sickle, crosses and a dollar sign, among other symbols. It is a gimmick he has used for several years.