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.