The first rain of the new year fell overnight Tuesday and early Wednesday over central Israel, with a few scattered areas in the north and south of the country.
The city of Ashdod clocked the highest precipitation at just over 40mm, according to the Israel Meteorological Service. Other cities in the central region also reported high levels with 35 mm in the Sharon, 25mm in Raanana and 27mm in Ashkelon. Tel Aviv recorded a total of 15mm.
The weather service has put out flash flood warnings for the Dead Sea region and Judean Desert. Hiking trails in the area were closed off to hikers.
While precipitation levels are not unprecedented, the downpour marks the start of what forecasters say will be an abrupt seasonal shift.
After an unseasonably hot start to October, temperatures began to fall Tuesday and are expected to stay low through the end of the week. On-and-off rain showers are likely to drench the north and center until the start of the weekend.
Blackouts were reported in several cities as rain, coupled with a buildup of dust from a sandstorm that blew through earlier this month, created heavy mud and caused transformers to blow. Shortages were reported in Petah Tikva, Lod, Ashdod, Ashkelon, Beersheba and other locations.
Israel Electric Corporation said it was making every effort to return electricity to affected areas. Customers have been advised to follow progress of repairs via the company’s app, presuming they still have remaining battery on their phones.
The first rain to break the summer dry season has been denoted since Biblical times with a special name — yoreh. It comes around the Sukkot holiday, which ended earlier this week.
Times of Israel staff contributed to this story.