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July 7, 2015 / 20 Tammuz, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Kinneret’

US Issues Travel Warning as Snowstorm Nears Israel

Saturday, January 3rd, 2015

The U.S. Embassy has jumped on this week’s snow wagon and has issued an unusual travel warning that the predicted storm could duplicate last year’s “closure of major roadways, stranded and isolated motorists, and difficult/perilous travel conditions.”

The Embassy usually warns Americans in Israel against Arab riots and terrorist attacks, but this time took the meteorological route to warn against travel, and it suggested that people “consider deferring any non-essential travel to impacted areas.”

It added, “Even a small amount of snow accumulation can result in road closures and perilous driving conditions, especially in elevated areas.

“If you are required to travel under these conditions, ensure your vehicle has a full tank of fuel. Pack warm winter clothing, boots, water, shovel, and emergency food supplies in the event you are stranded.”

The panic is justifiable.

Amateur weather buffs, who often – but not always – are more accurate than Israel’s official weather bureau, predict that up to 2 feet of snow will fall in Tzfat (Safed) and other high altitude areas by mid-week.

Snow will fall in Jerusalem, but it is too early to predict how much.

Most importantly, there will be huge amounts of rain that will help restore Israel’s depleted water reservoirs, including the Kinneret as well as the underground aquifers.

Up to 6 inches of rain may fall, particularly along the coast and in the north.

The snow may fall in areas as low as 500 feet high, which would include Nazareth and some areas in the northern Negev.

Hail, thunderstorms and very high winds are expected when the storm smacks around Wednesday, although some weather models indicate it might hit Israel Tuesday night.

Heavy rain fell in the north and in Jerusalem on the Sabbath and is expected to continue into the night, possible as far as south as the northern Negev.

Snow fell on the lower slopes of the Hermon.

Rain will taper off a bit by Sunday afternoon.

Local rains are expected on Monday, with slightly higher temperatures, but this is just to fool everyone that it is all over.

On Monday evening and Tuesday morning, heavy winds, with little precipitation will preview the big storm, which will begin to dump on the north in the afternoon.

The precipitation will take an afternoon break and return in full force during the night, when snow will spread from the Hermon to the northern Golan Heights and Upper Galilee, meaning Safed.

Snow, rain and hail will continue on Wednesday, especially in the north and along the coast, and will spread inward and south in the afternoon. Temperatures will drop like a rock.

On Thursday, most of the country will be wet, if not white.

Low-lying areas will be flooded, and there will be flash floods in the Dead Sea and Arava areas.

After it is all over, the temperatures will drop even more, resulting in icy conditions on the roads.

Take into account that forecasting the weather, especially snow, in Israel is tricky, but this time around, all opinions are that it is going to a wicked weather week.

And remember, we are asking God every day for winds and rain, so don’t complain.

We need the water.

 

First Snow Falls on the Hermon

Monday, November 24th, 2014

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.

Map shows that most of Israel has received far more than the usual amount o rain for this time of year.

Map shows that most of Israel has received far more than the usual amount o rain for this time of year.

 

 

Pesach at the Kinar

Sunday, April 27th, 2014

The Wife and I have been debating – what was our favorite part of staying at the Kinar Resort over Pesach?

Was it the overabundance of good food? The great service? That most of the guests were Americans (some very strangely holding 2 Sederim and keeping 8 days of Chag while in Eretz Yisrael)? That we were right on the Kinneret lake? Free wi-fi. That it’s a great jumping off point for all the Tiyulim (day trips) we were doing?

Nope. All that was good and fine, but that wasn’t the best part.

The best part was that we didn’t see our kids (except for trips and meals) for the entire week. I don’t think we heard “we’re bored” even once (well maybe once).

I know the hotel likes to market itself as the resort for religious people and Hareidim, and they think that this is their biggest selling point (and it is important), but it’s not just that. They had Pesach programs and activities for the kids that kept them so busy all the time, that it gave us adults time to actually relax and actually enjoy our vacation – and I think that’s an even better selling point.

How often does that happen?

The hotel has a massive lawn, huge. It reminded me of the Catskills (except for the palm trees and exotic green birds flying around).

The hotel brought in an entire mini-carnival with rides and jumping balloons that kept the kids busy for hours. And when the kids weren’t at the carnival, they were on the swings and slides.

Jumping at the Kinar

If that wasn’t enough, there was an arts and crafts camp, organized basketball games, ping pong and soccer tournaments, not to mention story telling, ice cream, and God knows what else.

Rides at the Kinar

Children’s paradise.

So what did that mean for us adults?

First of all, it meant we were able to enjoy our meals. Because you can never eat enough on Pesach.

Though I will admit I found one aspect of the meals quite amusing.

The hotel caters to a wide range of religious people (this particular crowd ranged from typical Young Israel to Yeshivish black hat, with a Chossid and Hiloni or two thrown in for good luck).

The dining room’s buffet provided different meat stands with clearly marked Kashrut certifications (Machfud, Rubin, Beit Yosef, etc.), so everyone could select which Rabbi’s Hashgacha they were happiest with (I have absolutely no idea who’s Hashgacha it was, but trust me, the steak and hamburgers were excellent).

They even had a stand with Matzah Brei (Oy Gebrochts!).

A piece of advice, if you can, talk to the Maitre D about getting a window seat, it’s such a pleasure to sit and eat while watching the lawn and the lake.

Our rooms were nice, and relatively big for Israeli rooms. Not ultra-fancy, but certainly clean and well appointed. They also have bungalows right on the grass, as well as ground floor rooms that lead right onto the main lawn. I didn’t get to see what the bungalows look like from the inside.

Kinar Room

The hotel has a basketball and tennis court, a small workout room, and an outdoor swimming pool.

My advice, the pool is cool, but instead, go to the pool area, grab a few towels, walk across the lawn, and jump into the Kinneret. Well, don’t jump, walk down the path into the super-clear water, and then jump in. (And don’t forget to bring the towels back).

The water is much warmer, and it’s a lot more fun.

SAMSUNG

The hotel has a separate beach for men and women, and off to the side, past the fishing pier is a (shhh) mixed beach.

Another Deluge of Rain on the Way but No Snow Except on Hermon

Thursday, December 26th, 2013

The second storm of the young winter is headed for Israel with more needed rain but no snow, except on the Hermon mountain.

Forecasters predict that it will rain on Eilat, an event that usually occurs only two or three times a year, and that up to three inches of rain will fall in the north and central regions.

Flash floods are predicted in the Arava and Dead Sea areas, which may receive an unusually large quantity of rain, possibly an inch.

The rain will follow deceivingly warmer than usual weather on Friday and will begin falling with the temperature Saturday afternoon, with the full force of the storm coming on Sunday and early Monday before weakening. No rain is forecast next week after Tuesday and temperatures will rise.

The Kinneret (Sea of Galilee) now lacks 2.49 meters (slightly more than 8 feet) before reaching the level where the Degania dam must be opened to prevent flooding in the beachside city of Tiberias. Opening the dam also will bring much needed water to the Dead Sea via the Jordan River.

There has  been no need to open the dam for 21 years.

Precipitation in Jerusalem 50% of Annual Amount

Sunday, December 15th, 2013

Torrential rains and the “snowstorm of the century” last week have left Jerusalem with 51 percent of its annual amount of precipitation, according to observations by the Israeli Meteorological Service, and the winter has barely begun.

Be’er Sheva, where many areas still are flooded, now has accumulated 63 percent of is annual rainfall and more than double the amount for this time of year.

Rainfall so this year in metropolitan Tel Aviv is 44-50 percent of its annual average, and Tiberias, which borders the Kinneret (Sea of Galilee), has received 131 percent of the usual rainfall for this time of year and one-third of its annual average.

Most of Israel’s precipitation usually falls from late December to early March. No more rain is in sight until early next week.

Wicked Storm from Russia ‘Attacks’ Israel with Rain and Snow

Tuesday, December 10th, 2013

A wicked and rare early winter storm plowed into Israel Wednesday, and weather forecasters predict between four and eight inches of rain will fall in the north, with gale force winds and possibly snow in Jerusalem and the higher hills of Judea and Samaria.

Snow is rare in Israel in early December, and predicting the white stuff in the country is as tricky as forecasting anything else in the Middle East. A tiny shift in the winds often moves a weather system towards or away from land, and a change of one or two degrees in the temperature can spell the difference between rain and snow.

This week’s system is a woozy, and the only questions are whether the rains will be drenching or extremely torrential, and if snow will accumulate in Jerusalem.

Rain fell in central and northern Israel last week after a dry November, and some communities in the western Negev received as much as four inches of rain. The Kinneret began to rise for the first time since last spring, but that is only a sneak preview of what is in store for the country from today through Sunday.

Before it is all over, more than three feet of snow is expected to have fallen on the upper slopes of the Hermon, which would allow for a very early opening of the ski season next week, weather permitting.

The Ministry of Agriculture predicts that up to seven inches of rain will fall in the northern Golan Heights, six inches in the Haifa area, 2-3 inches on the Kinneret, 5-6 inches around metropolitan Tel Aviv, 2-3 inches in the northern Negev and more than half an inch in the parched Arava desert.

The storm is rare in its expected intensity and length because it is headed from Russia, via the Black Sea, an unusual occurrence in early December. Meteorologist Tzachi Waxman of Meteo-Tech said, “A cold wave like this is exceptional for this time of year and usually occurs in January and February.”

Torrential rains will raise the level of the Kinneret dramatically once run-off begins from mountain streams.

The downside of the storm will be the usual flooded streets, traffic jams and power outages resulting from electric poles and wires downed by heavy winds and from heavy demand for power by everyone using electric heaters to stay warm.

Air traffic at Ben Gurion may be disrupted, which could knock out the schedule of U.S. Secretary John Kerry who is to land in Israel on Wednesday. With a bit of luck, good or bad depending on your view, he might not be able to land at all.

Heavy rains and strong winds, which may reach gale force velocity, began falling in the northern Negev late Tuesday. Weather maps indicate a rare phenomenon for this time of year will occur on Wednesday, when rain is expected to fall over the entire country, from the northern border to Eilat.

Snow on Wednesday night will cover Tzfat (Safed) and other higher elevations in the northern Galilee and the Golan Heights, and it will continue on Thursday, with occasional thunderstorms throughout the country.

There is a chance of snow in Jerusalem and the mountains in Judea and Samaria and the Negev on Thursday and a higher probability that snow will fall on those areas Thursday night and Friday. However, there is no assurance that the snow will accumulate below altitudes of 2,800 feet, the height of most of the highest areas in Jerusalem. Parts of Gush Etzion and the southern Hevron Hills are as high as 3,000 feet, where accumulation is more probable.

Flash floods will smash through the Judean Desert and Arava.

Private weather forecasters predict that the storm will continue to pummel Israel on the Sabbath before weakening late in the day. It will be extremely cold Saturday night, with possible sub-zero temperatures in higher elevations.

Official Winter Forecast Indicates Kinneret May Reach Flood Level

Monday, October 28th, 2013

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.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/official-winter-forecast-indicates-kinneret-may-reach-flood-level/2013/10/28/

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