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Heavy downpour hits Israel overnight

Nearly 4 inches of rain measured in north; rainfall expected to cease by Wednesday evening, resume over weekend

Israel was drenched by heavy rain late Tuesday and early Wednesday, with nearly 100 millimeters (nearly four inches) measured in northern Israel.

With around 500 millimeters (29 inches) of rain falling on average every year, according to the Israel Water Authority, the overnight rainfall would account for approximately 20 percent of the annual average.

Some roads in the northern coastal city of Haifa were closed as a result of the rain but have since been reopened.

Snow was reported Wednesday morning on Mount Hermon in the Golan Heights.

The Israel Water Authority said the Sea of Galilee rose three centimeters (one inch) from the most recent rainfall and has risen 12 centimeters (four and a half inches) since the start of December. However, it needs nearly five meters (16 feet) to be full and remains over 71 centimeters (two feet) below its healthy minimum level.

Shuli Chen, who works for the National Water Authority, stands in Lake Kinneret (the Sea of Galilee) to take a measurement of the water level in this file picture taken in March 2007. (Photo credit: Nati Shohat/Flash90)
Shuli Chen of the National Water Authority stands in the Sea of Galilee to take a measurement of the water level, March 2007. (photo credit: Nati Shohat/Flash90/File)

The Sea of Galilee’s rise was helped by streams in Israel’s north that feed into it, which were flowing with water after the downpour.

More rain is expected Wednesday, in particular in the north and mountainous areas, but will likely cease by Wednesday evening, although temperatures will remain low.

The rainfall is expected to resume over the weekend.

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