Hail, Flood Warnings as Winter Comes to Israel

Damage caused by massive hail north of Haifa, the like of which residents 'don't remember seeing'; flood concerns in eastern Israel.

Ari Yashar,

Hail in Haifa
Hail in Haifa
Shay Levy/Flash 90

Just last Thursday night Jews in Israel switched to the ten tal u'matar seasonal prayer for rain, and after initial rain last Friday, it looks as if the weather has been only too eager to oblige in dramatic fashion overnight Sunday and early Monday morning.

The most dramatic signs of winter were felt in the north, particularly in the Krayot area of five towns located north of Haifa, where hail the size of ping-pong balls showered down causing damages to homes.

"We woke up suddenly during the night to the sound of heavy knocking outside," Shiran Ohayon of Kiryat Motzkin told Yedioth Aharonoth. "It was just scary, and the scariest was how it just got stronger. ...It's just unbelievable that the weather went crazy like that."

Assessing the damage caused, Yair Gav of the same town told the Hebrew-language paper the hail "caused damage to the street. One of the trees collapsed on the building. ...I've lived in Krayot my whole life and I don't remember hail of this size."

That recollection regarding the unusual size of the hail was shared by Dana Nahmani of Kiryat Bialik, who said "we're familiar with hail but I don't remember anything like this. Mostly because of the enormous size of the hail and the crazy wind."

Winds on Monday are expected to reach as high as 60 kph (just under 40 mph), and with rain falling throughout the country there is a danger of flooding, particularly in the east of Israel.

Temperatures dropped significantly on Monday as compared to the day before, when Jerusalem and much of the country was greeted by sun and moderate temperatures.

The rain is expected to continue over the course of the day in the north and central coastal areas primarily, and there may be lone thunderstorms as were experienced overnight in certain areas.

The temperature for the day and night is expected to be between 13 and 17 degrees Celsius (55 and 62 Fahrenheit) in Jerusalem, 16 to 23 (60 to 73) in Tel Aviv, with the lowest temperatures felt in Tzfat (Safed) and the Galilee where temperatures will be between 10 and 15 (50 to 59).

Rainy weather is forecasted to continue largely unabated until Thursday, when there is expected to be a partial clearing and light rise in temperatures.




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