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Rains of Blessing Felt in Sea of Galilee

The country-wide Sabbath rains raised the level of Lake Kinneret, Israel's largest water reservoir, for the first time this winter. It still has three meters to go to reach its optimal level.
By Hillel Fendel
First Publish: 12/18/2005, 8:07 AM / Last Update: 12/18/2005, 10:47 AM

The lake, also known as the Sea of Galilee, has started to rise, after the usual summer evaporation and dry season lowered its level to its lowest point in over two years. It stood more than two feet higher at this time last year.

The exact numbers: The Kinneret rose 1.5 centimeters over the weekend, and now stands at 211.73 meters below sea level. The optimal level is 208.8 meters below sea level, such that another 2.93 meters of rain is desired this winter.

Each centimeter of Kinneret height means another 1.7 million cubic meters of water. If the maximum level is reached, authorities must open the dams in order to prevent flooding in Tiberias and Ein Gev.

The current weather reports call for some rain in the morning hours, which will peter out by the afternoon. Scattered rains are now forecast for Monday night and Tuesday morning.

The heavy weekend rains caused flooding and/or closure of some roads in Tel Aviv, Lod, and Zikhron Yaakov.