Below average rainfall recorded in February

Kinneret

After above average rainfall in December and January, the likelihood of the Kinneret reaching its maximum level is receding.

There was below average rainfall in Israel in February, according Amos Porat, head of the climate department at the Israel Meteorological Service. Nevertheless, after a far wetter than average December and January, Porat told "Yediot Ahronot" that most areas of Israel have already had over their annual average precipitation and that as an overall statistic the country has already received 105% of its average annual rainfall.

Some areas of northern Israel have received between 120% and 150% of their average annual rainfall, according to Porat, with Nahariya receiving 140% and the Galilee Panhandle (Hula Valley) 120%. The inland hills have also enjoyed an abundance of rain with Jerusalem receiving 115% of its annual average. Haifa has had 110% of its average rainfall but most of the Mediterranean coast to the south has still only had 80-90% of its annual average. Beersheva and many areas of the Negev are also slightly below their annual average.

In February, the Upper Galilee had 70-80% of its average rainfall for the month, the Golan Heights 60-70%, Haifa 81%, and Tel Aviv only 60%. The Northern Negev had 90% of its monthly rainfall in February, however, Jerusalem had 120%.

The Kinneret (Sea of Galilee) is rising by about 1.5-2 centimeters per day and is now 86 centimeters beneath its maximum level. The Kinneret Authority plans to open the dam at the southern end of the freshwater lake to allow water to flow down the river if it is within 20 centimeters of its maximum level by the end of March. The likelihood of this happening is receding with no rain in sight in the coming few days and only light showers forecast for Friday.

Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on March 2, 2020

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