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Videos: Minor Miracle on the Kinneret

A mammoth storm buried the official forecast of a year of drought and raised the level of the Kinneret beyond what anyone dared to imagine.
By Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu
First Publish: 3/4/2012, 8:58 PM

Man immerses himself in the Kinneret
Man immerses himself in the Kinneret
Flash 90

The official forecast was for another year of drought. A mammoth rain-snowstorm buried the forecast and raised the level of the Kinneret beyond what anyone dared to imagine.

Most of Israel already has received 100 percent of its annual average rainfall, helping to replenish depleted water resources.

The Kinneret (Sea of Galilee), which is the source of one-third of Israel's water, jumped 20 centimeters – 8 inches – on the Sabbath, bringing the level up to 3.46 meters below the level at which dams would have to be opened to prevent flooding of the beachside city of Tiberias.

It would take a major miracle of another three major storms to fill the Kinneret, but this winter has provided Israelis and the Water Authority with a  minor miracle. Even without another rain storm – and at least one usually hits Israel during March – expected runoff from hills and from melting snow will likely bring the level of the Kinneret to at least 2.5 meters below flood levels before the beginning of the summer.

The videos below show heavy snow in the Golan Heights, after a 50-second Hebrew-language introduction by a local resident, and raging streams and rare waterfalls in Judea and Samaria.