A wicked and rare early winter storm has plowed into Israel, and weather forecasters predict between four and eight inches of rain will fall in the north, with gale force winds and possibly snow in Yerushalayim and the higher hills of Yehudah and Shomron.
Snow is rare in Israel in early December, and predicting the white stuff in the country is as tricky as forecasting anything else in the Middle East.
A tiny shift in the winds often moves a weather system towards or away from land, and a change of one or two degrees in the temperature can spell the difference between rain and snow.
This week’s system is a woozy, and the only questions are whether the rains will be drenching or extremely torrential, and if snow will accumulate in Yerushalayim.
Rain fell in central and northern Israel last week after a dry November, and some communities in the western Negev received as much as four inches of rain. The Kinneret began to rise for the first time since last spring, but that is only a sneak preview of what is in store for the country from today through Sunday.
Before it is all over, more than three feet of snow is expected to have fallen on the upper slopes of the Hermon. The Ministry of Agriculture predicts that up to seven inches of rain will fall in the northern Golan Heights, six inches in the Haifa area, 2-3 inches on the Kinneret, 5-6 inches around metropolitan Tel Aviv, 2-3 inches in the northern Negev and more than half an inch in the parched Arava desert. Read more here.