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    Israel braces for stormy week
    Winter weather front brings heavy rains, strong winds and flood warnings. IEC warns of blackouts; Water Authority expects Lake Kinneret to add over 30cm by system's end

    A particularly stormy weather front arrived in Israel Sunday, and the Israel Meteorological Service expects it will last through to the weekend.


    Heavy rains and hail storms are expected in central Israel and dust storm are expected in the south. Various flood warning have been issued across Israel, especially in the south, where local rivers traditionally flood roads.  


    Tel Aviv beach (Photo: Leah Sherman-Kish)


    The City of Tel Aviv has emergency crews on call as well, as the Ayalon River, which runs alongside the Ayalon Highways – central Israel's main expressway – is expected to overflow, effectively cutting off entire sections of the road.


    "It's an extreme scenario, but one we can't really control," City official Ruby Zelof said. "We'll do everything to contain the problem if the river floods."


    Heavy snowfall is expected in Mount Hermon, as well as in the Jerusalem and Galilee mountains.


    The storm front will see winds of up to 80 km/h with gusts of up to 120 km/h, the Meteo-Tech Meteorological Service said.


    תל עדשים (צילום: שמעון שטרית)

    Wind damage in Tel Adashim (Photo: Shimon Sheetrit)


    Municipalities across Israel have bolstered their maintenance crews, as the strong winds have already toppled dozens of trees.


    Offshore, the Mediterranean will see waves of 5-10 meters. A swimming advisory has been issued, warning that the ocean is considered dangerous at this time.


    Israel Electric Corp warned Monday that the storm may cause blackouts and the IEC's emergency hotline and field crews have been placed on special alert.

    נחל שניר (צילום: עודד ניר)

    Snir Stream, near the Jordan River (Photo: Oded Nir)


    Temperatures across Israel this week are expected to average on 10-18c during the day, dropping to an average 5-9c during the night.


    The heavy rains and water overflow in Israel's rivers have been kind to Lake Kinneret – the Sea of Galilee – Israel's main freshwater reservoir, which has gained 50cm in December alone – up 133% from its perennial average.


    The Kinneret added 17cm since Friday, with water levels currently at 211.79 below sea level. The Water Authority expects the lake to rise some 30cm more by the time the system passes the area. 






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    Weather Watch
    Storm in Tel Aviv
    Photo: Or Menny
    Ayalon River
    Photo: Nir Gal