Photo Credit: social media
Flooding in Yavne.

A veritable downpour of blessings rained down from the skies over Israel on Monday, flooding roads, parking lots and various tourist sites.

In the north, the Mount Hermon ski resort was closed to visitors due to the poor weather conditions.

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Moving further south, The north-south Highway 90 was shut down in both directions near the Ein Gedi nature reserve, north of the Arugot River, due to flooding.

Around the same area, the Tamar Regional Council district canceled school sessions due to road conditions. Kibbutz Ein Gedi is located within the Tamar region, as is Masada and the Dead Sea hotel strip at Ein Bokek.

Further west, the sparkling new Be’er Sheva “Grand Canyon” Mall also caved to the weather: a section of the roof collapsed under the weight of the downpour.

All the way to the south, less than a mile from the Gaza border, the city of Sderot found some of its cars nearly swimming in the rainwater. Streets were flooded nearly halfway up the hubcaps of some of the cars.

In other towns around the country, some of the parking lots were flooded nearly to the car trunks.

Throughout the Negev, the average amount of rainfall was approximately three centimeters (1.2 inches). Tel Aviv was close – 2.7 centimeters (a bit over an inch), Haifa had nearly 2 centimeters (almost an inch) and Jerusalem saw four centimeters (about an inch and a half.) In the Golan Heights, about 45 centimeters of rain was measured in some areas (nearly 2 inches).

What all this means is that the water level in Israel’s biggest drinking water reservoir – Lake Kinneret, the Sea of Galilee – has risen by another 1.5 centimeters due to the rain. The level is now -212.65 meters below sea level, which is 3.85 meters below the top red line, at which point the lake would be filled to capacity.

The rain is forecast to continue throughout Monday.

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for Babble.com, Chabad.org and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.

1 COMMENT

  1. The heavy rainfall in Israel that is causing severe flooding throughout the country should be a wake-up call to urgently address climate change. Here are ten reasons Jews (and everyone else) should be concerned about climate change:
    1. Leaders of the 196 nations that met at the climate change conference in Paris in December 2015, science academies worldwide, 97% of climate scientists, and 99.9% of peer-reviewed papers on the issue in respected scientific journals agree that climate change is real, is largely caused by human activities, and poses great threats to humanity.
    2. Every decade since the 1970s has been warmer than the previous decade and all of the 17 warmest years since temperature records were kept in 1880 have been since 1998. 2015 was the warmest year since temperature records were kept in 1880, breaking the record just set in 2014. January 2016 was the warmest January since 1880 and the previous 8 months were also record breakers.
    3. Polar icecaps and glaciers worldwide have been melting rapidly, faster than scientific projections.
    4. There has been an increase in the number and severity of droughts, wildfires, storms, and floods.
    5. California has been subjected to so many severe climate events (heat waves, droughts, wildfires, and mudslides when heavy rains occur) recently that its governor, Jerry Brown, stated that, “Humanity is on a collision course with nature.”
    6. Many climates experts believe that we are close to a tipping point when climate change will spiral out of control, with disastrous consequences, unless major positive changes soon occur.
    7. While climate scientists believe that 350 parts per million (ppm) of atmospheric CO2 is a threshold value for climate stability, the world reached 400 ppm in 2014, and the amount is increasing by 2 – 3 ppm per year.
    8. While climate scientists hope that temperature increases can be limited to two degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit), largely because that is the best that can be hoped for with current trends and momentum, the world is now on track for an average increase of 4 – 5 degrees Celsius, which would produce a world with almost unimaginably negative climate events .
    9. The Pentagon and other military groups believe that climate change will increase the potential for instability, terrorism, and war by reducing access to food and clean water and by causing tens of millions of desperate refuges fleeing from droughts, wildfire, floods, storms, and other effects of climate change.
    10. Last, but far from least, the Israel Union for Environmental Defense has projected that, unless major changes soon occur, climate change in Israel will cause an average temperature rise up to 6 degrees Fahrenheit, a 20-30 percent decrease in precipitation, increasing desertification, and a possible inundation of the coastal plain where most Israelis live by a rising Mediterranean Sea.

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