Snow falls on Mt. Hermon, Kinneret drops by half a cm

About five centimeters of snow accumulated on the upper part of the Hermon ski resort overnight.

 Snow accumulates on Mount Hermon, December 9, 2021 (photo credit: MT. HERMON)
Snow accumulates on Mount Hermon, December 9, 2021
(photo credit: MT. HERMON)

Snow fell on Mt. Hermon for the first time this season on Wednesday night, as stormy weather hit northern and central Israel.

About five centimeters of snow accumulated in the upper part of the Hermon ski resort overnight, with temperatures at 30 F (-1 C) as of Thursday morning. The Hermon site was closed to visitors on Thursday morning due to the weather.

IDF commander of the Hermon sector, Lt. Col. Nof Brown, told Army Radio on Wednesday morning that the the soldiers have been making intensive preparations for the snow for the past two months, distributing equipment and heating systems.

"There are systems here that allow us to observe the area, and an evacuation unit with vehicles that allow movement in the snow," said Brown. "Our goal - is that people can come and enjoy the site. The connection to the land raises the vigilance of our people, there is excitement from being here and guarding this place."

Despite the heavy rainfall, the Kinneret's water level dropped by half a centimeter, placing it at 210.74 meters below sea level, 1.94 meters below the upper red line which marks a full lake. The lake is 2.26 meters above the lower red line, which marks a dangerously low lake. It may take a few days for the recent rainfall to affect the water level of the lake.

Snow accumulates on Mount Hermon, Dec. 9, 2021 (Credit: Mt. Hermon)

Heavy rainfall in recent winters has caused the Kinneret to reach high water levels in the past two years, raising hopes that the Deganya Dam could be fully opened for the first time in over two decades, allowing water to flow into the Jordan River.

In 2020, the Water Authority decided to open a canal to divert five billion liters of water from the Kinneret to the southern Jordan River, with the goal of bypassing the Deganya Dam to avoid negatively affecting pumping stations in the area and the financial costs required to open the dam.

Up to 150-170 cubic meters of water flows through the river each second when the dams are fully opened. 

Until only 15 years ago, the lake was one of Israel’s primary sources of drinking water, as the country’s first large-scale desalination facility in Ashkelon only became operational in 2005.