Daily Israel Report

First 'Rains of Blessing' Expected for Shabbat

Winter is expected to finally arrive in Israel this weekend, with plunging temperatures, heavy wind and rain, and thunder and lighting.
By David Lev
First Publish: 11/8/2012, 2:05 PM

rain is returning
rain is returning
Flash 90

Although the calendar says November, the weather in Israel still feels like June or July – sometimes even August. But better late than never: Winter is expected to finally arrive in Israel this weekend, with plunging temperatures, heavy wind and rain, and thunder and lighting.

The long hoped for “rains of blessing” will begin early Friday and extend through Shabbat and Sunday. The rain will begin in northern and coastal Israel early Friday, and spread through the country during the course of the day. Flooding can be expected in some urban and rural areas. Residents were being asked by the Israel Electric Company to either store or tie down light objects that could be carried by strong wind and strike electric cables, causing power outages. Extra repair crews will be on duty throughout the weekend to response quickly when power does go out.

Power outages are also possible even in areas where there are no flying objects; often during the first major rain, electrical wires that weakened during the calm summer months are dislodged by heavy winds, and IEC crews only find out about them after the fact. In addition, drivers were being warned to be careful as they drove, because the first heavy rains of the season tended to mix with oil and other elements on roads, maker roads much slicker than they usually are during rainstorms later in the season.

With the first significant rains due, the national winter pastime – how much will the Kinneret and the underground aquifers benefit from the rain – is back as well. This past summer was easier on the Kinneret; it is currently 56.5 centimeters above the “red line” minimal amount needed for the lake to remain healthy. That is somewhat better than it was on the eve of the first major rains last year, said Water Authority officials.