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'Rain of blessing' - Israel experiences 14 consecutive days of rainfall, longest stretch in 30 years

People take cover from the rain at Mount Herzl in Jerusalem, January 28, 2024. (Photo: Chaim Goldberg/Flash90)

For the first time since February 1992, Israel has experienced 14 straight days of rainfall in the north and the south, according to a report from the Israel Meteorological Service (IMS) published on Sunday.

The meteorological service called this a “rain of blessing” because the steady, consistent rainfall allows water to seep deep into the ground, enriching the land’s natural water sources without the damaging consequences of flooding.

The water level of the Sea of Galilee – Israel’s largest freshwater lake – has increased by 26 cm (10.2 in), with more than half of that amount accruing within just 24 hours. The level is still below the red line for the sea, making the recent rainfall vitally important.

Though the sea is no longer used as the State of Israel's main source of drinking water, it is still used to gauge seasonal rainfall and it is the main water source of the Jordan River which flows into the Dead Sea.

Dr. Amos Porat, the director of Climate Services at the IMS, noted that the recent long period of consistent rainfall the nation has been experiencing has had no other irregular features.

“Usually, these weather systems stay for two to four days and then move on,” he said.

Israel’s rainy season typically stretches from November to March, with January and February being the wettest months. The average annual rainfall is measured from August in Israel. Parts of the north and center of the country have already reached or exceeded their annual average.

However, south of Jerusalem, in the desert region, the only place that exceeded its annual average rainfall was Mount Sodom, located at the southwestern end of the Dead Sea, which received 119% of its annual average. Porat said that there were sometimes instances where rain fell in one area but nowhere else nearby, referring to them as “local events.”

Israel's Arava Desert in the south has received just 13% of its annual average rainfall, while Ein Gedi, located in the Judean Desert, has seen only 15%, demonstrating the varying amounts of extended rainfall in different regions.

While a slight temperature increase is predicted for Tuesday, the rainfall is expected to persist through Wednesday.

In a nation where water is a scarce resource, the prolonged rainy weather has been a welcomed blessing for Israel.

The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.

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