Israel sees 14 straight days of rainfall for first time in over 30 years

Sea of Galilee water level rises 26 centimeters, according to Israel Meteorological Service, with more expected

People take cover from the rain in Jerusalem, January 28, 2024. (Chaim Goldberg/Flash90)
People take cover from the rain in Jerusalem, January 28, 2024. (Chaim Goldberg/Flash90)

Israel has seen 14 straight days of rainfall in the north and south for the first time since February 1992, according to statistics from the Israel Meteorological Service published Sunday.

The service called this kind of precipitation a “rain of blessing” because the steady, persistent downpour allows rainwater to seep into the ground, enriching natural water sources without the damaging side effects of flooding.

The service said that the rainfall raised the water level of the Sea of Galilee by 26 centimeters (10.2 inches), with more increases expected.

Israel’s largest freshwater lake, though no longer used as the main source of drinking water, is still a popular gauge of seasonal rainfall.

A slight rise in temperatures is expected on Tuesday,  but the rainy weather will likely continue until Wednesday.

With water a scarce resource in the country, the record rainfall is considered good news.

People enjoy a sunny day at Tzemach Beach at the Sea of Galilee after the week’s heavy rain, on February 2, 2024. (Michael Giladi/Flash90)

Apart from the length, the current period of rain, due to end Tuesday, had no irregular features, Dr. Amos Porat, director of Climate Services at the IMS, told the Times of Israel.

“Usually, these weather systems stay for two to four days and then move on,” he said.

Parts of the center and north of the country have already equaled or even exceeded their annual average rain, which is measured from August.

But south of Jerusalem, where the landscape slowly turns to desert, the only place to exceed its annual average rainfall was Sodom, at the southwestern end of the Dead Sea, which received 119% of its annual average. Porat said sometimes there were “local events” where rain fell in one area and nowhere else nearby.

Hazeva, in the Arava desert in Israel’s far south, has had just 13% of its annual average, while Ein Gedi, in the Judean Desert, has seen just 15%.

Sue Surkes contributed to this report.

Most Popular
read more: