Photo Credit: Ben Kelmer / Flash 90
Israeli palm trees in high winds as a storm hits Tel Aviv. (file)

An incoming major winter storm has so impressed forecasters in the Eastern Mediterranean Group of EUMETNET, which includes the meteorological services of Israel, Greece and Cyprus, that the meteorologists have agreed upon a name: ‘Storm Carmel.’

Heavy rains, gale-force winds of 30 to 43 mph, with gusts between 55 to 62 mph, high seas with wave heights up to 26 feet (eight meters) plus widespread flooding are expected to cause serious disruptions throughout the Jewish State starting Monday, when the storm is expected to arrive in Israel.


Temperatures are expected to drop into the single digits celsius — the low 40s Fahrenheit.

The weather front is currently battering Cyprus and Greece, where residents are seeing snowfall as well as high winds. When it arrives in Israel forecasters are expecting up to nine inches of rain to fall on some locations throughout the state before the storm wears itself out.

It is also possible the storm will drop snow in the higher elevations, including Mount Hermon and in the northern Galilee.

In Nahariya, students will learn remotely from home, the municipality announced. The port city of Haifa has gone on alert in preparation for fallen trees and electricity poles, flooding and damage to the beaches.

Underground parking lots and other areas are expected to see some flooding around the country, and there is a flood watch in effect for the southern and eastern wadis (riverbeds) in the desert areas.

Emergency services throughout the country are preparing themselves to carry out rescue operations, and municipalities have sent out alerts to their residents, warning Israelis to batten down the hatches and clear their yards of anything that can be moved.

The public is being warned by fire and rescue services and by police to avoid any unnecessary travel during the storm, which is expected to last until Wednesday.

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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, and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.