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November 26, 2015 / 14 Kislev, 5776
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Rain’

Kinneret up 13 Centimeters

Monday, January 12th, 2015

The Kinneret rose 2 centimeters yesterday, and now stands at 212.71 meters below sea level, and is expected to go up more.

Altogether, the Kinneret rose 13 centimeters since last Shabbat from all the stormy and snowy weather.

The Kinneret is the lowest freshwater lake in the world, and is an important source of Israel’s water.

Kinneret up 11 Centimeters

Sunday, January 11th, 2015

The Kinneret rose 2.5 centimeters in the past 2 days, and now stands at 212.73 meters below sea level, and is expected to go up more.

Altogether, the Kinneret rose 11 centimeters since last Shabbat from all the stormy weather.

The Kinneret is the lowest freshwater lake in the world, and is an important source of Israel’s water.

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.


Severe Rains In Gaza May Mean Terror Tunnels Are Flooded

Friday, November 28th, 2014

Published on Jewish Business News

The UN Palestine refugee agency UNRWA on Thursday evening declared a state of emergency in Gaza City amid massive rains that have shut down normal life in the city, Ma’an reported. This could also mean damage to the hundreds of underground tunnels that are still being dug fastidiously by Hamas, in preparation for the next war.

Thursday marks the fourth straight day of unusually heavy rain across the region, causing temperatures to dip across the coastal region.

In early November, the Egyptian army launched a program to destroy newly discovered hundreds of tunnels leading from Gaza into the Sinai, which had been used by Gaza jihadists to attack Egyptian security forces. In only a matter of days, the Egyptians cleared 10,000 residents from about 800 homes along the strip’s southern border, to erect an 8-mile buffer where anyone entering would be shot without a warning.

Unlike Israel, the Egyptians can be decisive on fighting terrorism, and they don’t catch international flak for it, either.

Since Israel evacuated its military and civilians from Gaza, in 2005, the PLO and then the Hamas governments have not invested a penny in upgrading the sewer systems and the roads, and so each rainy season sees the strip sitting under lakes of water and human waste. The major storm that brought a blessing to Israel this past week has filled the streets of Gaza City once again with water and sewage, causing further misery for the more than 100,000 Palestinians left homeless, including an estimated 30,000 in emergency shelters.

UNRWA announced that 63 schools across Gaza City and 43 schools across the northern Gaza Strip had been closed Thursday due to the flooding.

Hundreds of residents in the Sheikh Radwan neighborhood of Gaza City had also been evacuated due to the rise of a “storm water lagoon” that had flooded many homes in the area.

“The flooding is exacerbating the already dire humanitarian situation in Gaza caused by blockade and the unprecedented destruction from the latest Israeli offensive,” the UN agency said in a post on its Facebook page.

Back in 2013, Egyptian forces flooded the tunnels under the border with the Gaza Strip in a campaign to shut them down. A Reuters reporter saw one tunnel suddenly fill with water, sending workers rushing for safety. Locals said two other tunnels were also flooded, as the Egyptians were deliberately pumping in water.

“The Egyptians have opened the water to drown the tunnels,” Abu Ghassan, who supervised the work of 30 men at one tunnel, 200 yards from the border, told Reuters. And an Egyptian security official in the Sinai told Reuters: “We are using water to close the tunnels by raising water from one of the wells.”

But when it rains heavily, as it did this week, Gaza is prone to severe flooding, leading to the displacement of thousands. The floods are exacerbated by a chronic lack of fuel that limits how much water can be pumped out of flood-stricken areas.

Which means that the effect the Egyptians achieved by diverting well water into the tunnels is now achieved by natural forces.

The tunnels into Israel were constructed using the expertise of the Rafah families who have specialized in digging tunnels into Egypt for commerce and smuggling, and have been described by former Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniya as representative of “a new strategy in confronting the occupation and in the conflict with the enemy from underground and from above the ground.”

The Israeli military has estimated that Hamas spent as much as $90 million, pouring 600,000 tons of concrete, in building three dozen tunnels. Some of these tunnels were estimated to have cost $3 million to construct.

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.



V’ten Tal Umatar Livracha Started Today

Friday, October 31st, 2014

As of today, the 7th of Cheshvan in the Jewish calendar, Jews in Israel will start inserting the formal request for rain in the 9th blessing of the thrice-daily Amidah prayer. Thus will officially begin the rainy season in Israel, which will go on until the first day of Passover.

And guess what! It’s raining today.

Even though Jews everywhere pray for rain on Shmini Atzeret (Tishrei 22), we don’t ask that it begin right away.

In Israel, this request is inserted on the 7th of Cheshvan, based on the view of Rabban Gamliel, who says prayer for rain should be suspended until fifteen days after the festival of Sukkot, so that the last Jewish pilgrims returning home to Babylon from Jerusalem will reach the River Euphrates and not be delayed by the rain and the muddy roads.

In the Diaspora, we wait until December 4th to start asking for rain, based the opinion of Chananiah who says that in the Diaspora we do not begin to pray for rain until the sixtieth day after the fall holidays.

Rain in Jerusalem

Sunday, October 19th, 2014

It’s raining today in Jerusalem, the first major rain storm of the new year.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/rain-in-jerusalem/2014/10/19/

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