Rainstorms Are Coming

The weathermen predict a lot of rain in Israel in the next few days, with snow falling on the Hermon and in the Golan, and perhaps even in the central part of Israel. As I have written before, I am a statistics junkie when it comes to rain in Israel, and I follow it closely.

I have also been listening to my sons as they follow sports clips on the internet for every possible game that they can: soccer, both local and European; basketball, local, European and American; and even American football (their newest craze). One thing that all of these clips have in common is the constant information given by the sports commentator, usually consisting of statistics and predictions.

So, for my debut as a “rain commentator” here is what might happen in the next few days (G-d willing – and everyone needs to pray for it, no complaining about the cold and the cost of the electricity for heating!!!!)

Kfar Blum is at 99% of annual rain so far – and since it needs only 6 mm to go over the top it will probably do that without a problem.

Tel Aviv is at 95% of annual rain, and needs 28 mm to reach 100%. I think there is a good chance that will happen too.

The next closest city is Zfat, at 90% annual rain. This is more of a long shot, since Zfat gets a lot of rain, and it needs 64 mm to reach its 100% mark. I don’t think this will happen in the next few days, but perhaps in a week or so…..

The big question in everyone’s minds when it comes to rainfall is the Kinneret level. The Kinneret is now at -212.46. (Don’t get confused here folks, because it is below sea level, so when the rainfall adds water to the Kinneret the numbers go down, and that is a good thing!) Last year the Kinneret’s highest point was -212.35. If there is as much rain as being predicted, there is a very good chance that the level will surpass this point in the next few days. Looking at the big picture, though, the situation is so bad that this number doesn’t really mean much.

The “red line” – the level at which the Kinneret is in danger – is -213.00.  Every year, between the day it stops rising to the first rainfall the following fall, the Kinneret drops from about 1 to 2 meters altogether. Exactly how much it drops is dependent of course on how much water is available for pumping from wells in the rest of the country and how much must be used from the Kinneret itself, and how much we conserve. We need to be at about  -211.00 just to get to the point where we reach the red line at the end of the summer. Which means we need another 1.56 meters of rain in the Kinneret – in the next month and a half.

Did I mention that we need to pray?


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