Heavy rains hit Israel Wednesday, taking the country by surprise with heavy thunder and lightning shaking Israel on the eve of the Sukkot holiday, which many Israelis mark by holding special dinner in the Sukkah – a hand-made wooden booth or shack set up outside.
Rain began falling hard in the early afternoon, with massive thunderstorms being reported in the north. In the later afternoon the rains began to reach Tel Aviv. In Safed in the north, a number of Sukkot were torn down by the aggressive weather.
After lightning struck a group of trees in the Safsufa (Kfar Hoshen), a small fire erupted; similar fires were reported throughout the northern Israel.
While the initial forecast predicated rain in the south and east, but the rain in the north and central Israel caught meteorologists by surprise.
Meteorologist Tzahi Waxman from Meteo-Tech spoke to Ynet and explained that "we are currently experience something that is very common in autumn – but not winter. Hot air is concentrated in the atmosphere's lower layers - close to the ground - while cold air has penetrated those higher up.
"The meeting between the two causes storm clouds, which lead to rain, lighting and thunder."
Waxman say the rain can continue until tomorrow, but notes the thunderstorm will begin to calm towards the nighttime.