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October 23, 2014 / 29 Tishri, 5775
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Posts Tagged ‘Sea of Galilee’

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.

Fifth Earthquake in a Week in Kinneret Region

Tuesday, October 22nd, 2013

A minor earthquake, the fifth in a week, shook up residents in the area of the Kinneret (Sea of Galilee) Tuesday morning.

The temblor, which measured 3.3 on the Richter scale and was centered just northwest of the Sea of Galilee, was felt from Tiberias up to the Golan Heights.

It came a day after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ordered earthquake drills in schools on the same day that two earthquakes struck.

All five of the quakes have been centered near the Sea of Galilee, which is located on the Great Syria-African Rift, which has been the center of several earthquakes, large and small. It is unclear what the string of temblors means for future earthquakes.

Hundreds of people died and were injured in a 6.2 magnitude earthquake in 1927 that centered on the Dead Sea.

Dramatic Kinneret Discovery: Climate Crisis Ruined Ancient Empires

Tuesday, October 22nd, 2013

A study of fossil pollen particles in sediments extracted from the bottom of the Sea of Galilee has revealed evidence of a climate crisis that traumatized the Near East from the middle of the 13th to the late 12th century BCE. The crisis brought about the collapse of the great empires of the Bronze Age.

“In a short period of time, the entire world of the Bronze Age crumbled,” explains Tel Aviv University archaeologist Prof. Finkelstein. “The Hittite empire, Egypt of the Pharaohs, the Mycenaean culture in Greece, the copper producing kingdom located on the island of Cyprus, the great trade emporium of Ugarit on the Syrian coast and the Canaanite city-states under Egyptian hegemony – all disappeared and only after a while were replaced by the territorial kingdoms of the Iron Age, including Israel and Judah.”

The researchers drilled through 300 meters of water in the heart of the Sea of Galilee and retrieved a core of sediments 20 meters long from the bottom of the lake. The goal was to extract from the sediments fossil pollen grains.

“Pollen is the most enduring organic material in nature,” explains Finkelstein’s colleague Dr. Dafna Langgut, who carried out the actual work of sampling. “Pollen was driven to the Sea of Galilee by wind and river-streams, was deposited in the lake and was embedded in the under-water sediments. New sediments that are added annually create anaerobic conditions which help preserve the pollen particles. These particles tell us about the vegetation that grew in the vicinity of the lake in the past and therefore testify to the climatic conditions in the region.”

The chronological framework of the sediment core was established by radiocarbon dating organic materials that were preserved in the sediments. The counting and the identification of the pollen grains revealed a period of severe droughts between ca. 1250 and 1100 BCE. A core of sediments from the western shore of the Dead Sea – also studied by the research group – provided similar results.

“The advantage of our study, compared to pollen investigations carried out at other locations in the Near East, is in the unprecedented resolution of a sample about every 40 years,” says Prof. Finkelstein. “Pollen is usually sampled in a resolution of several hundreds of years, and this is indeed logical when one is interested in prehistoric matters and glacial and inter-glacial cycles. Since we were interested in historical periods, we had to sample in denser resolution; otherwise a crisis such as the one at the end of the Bronze Age would have escaped our attention.”

Another novelty in the current research is in the chronological correlation between the pollen results and two other records of the past. At the end of the Bronze Age many Eastern Mediterranean cities were assaulted and destroyed by fire. The dates of these events indeed fall between ca. 1250-1100 BCE. The same holds true for ancient Near Eastern written documents that testify to severe droughts and famine in exactly the same period. Such documents are known from across the entire region – from the Hittite capital in Anatolia in the north, via Ugarit on the Syrian coast and Aphek in Israel to Egypt in the south.

Reduction in precipitation in the “green” areas of the Near East should not be expected to cause the collapse of great empires.

So what had happened?

Prof. Ronny Ellenblum of the Hebrew University in Jerusalem studied written documents that describe similar conditions – of severe droughts and famine – in the 10th‒11th centuries CE. He showed that in the northern parts of the Near East, such as northern Iran and Anatolia, shrinkage in precipitation was accompanied by devastating cold spells that destroyed crops. Langgut, Finkelstein and Litt propose a similar process for the end of the Bronze Age: Severe cold spells destroyed the crops in the northern parts of the ancient Near East and shrinkage in precipitation damaged agricultural output in the eastern steppe parts of the region.

This brought about the droughts and famine so well-described in the ancient texts, and motivated “large groups of people to start moving to the south in search of food,” says Egyptologist Shirly Ben-Dor Evian of the Department of Archaeology at Tel Aviv University.

The Kinneret Continues to Rise

Tuesday, February 12th, 2013

Just since Monday, the Kinneret rose another 2 centimeters to 210.445 meters below sea level, and is now standing at 255 centimeters above the lower red line.

In the past 6 days the Kinneret has risen 11 centimeters.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/the-kinneret-continues-to-rise-2/2013/02/12/

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