Winter storm ‘Carmel’ to bring heavy rain, wind, snow to Israel this week

Winter storm "Carmel" will bring heavy rain, wind and snow to Israel for two days this week.

 Rainy weather in Jerusalem, December 2021 (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)
Rainy weather in Jerusalem, December 2021
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)

A strong winter storm named “Carmel” will bring heavy rains, wind and possibly even snow to Israel from Monday to Wednesday, the Israel Meteorological Service (IMS) announced on Friday.

According to an alert by the IMS, the storm will first hit Israel on Monday and will not significantly weaken until Wednesday.

Large amounts of rainfall are expected throughout northern and central Israel starting on Sunday night and continuing until Wednesday. The storm is expected to drop between four to six inches (100-150 mm.) of rain in many locations, with higher amounts of rainfall possible in some locations. This extreme rainfall could lead to flooding in the coastal regions and flash floods in streams in eastern Israel.

The Haifa Municipality announced on Sunday that it had raised its level of preparedness in anticipation of the storm. The municipality is preparing for flooding incidents as well as trees and lampposts collapsing and harm to the city’s beaches, it announced. Likewise, Nahariya announced it would be conducting remote learning for students.

According to the Weather2day website, snowfall may also accumulate lightly on the peaks of mountains in northern Israel.

Wind speeds will reach up to 30 to 43 mph (50 to 70 kph), with gusts between 55 to 62 mph (90 to 100 kph). In some places, the wind might be even stronger.

 Rainy weather in Tel Aviv, December 2021 (credit: AVSHALOM SASSONI) Rainy weather in Tel Aviv, December 2021 (credit: AVSHALOM SASSONI)

Wind speeds will reach up to 30-43 mph (50-70 kph), with gusts between 55-62 mph (90-100 kph). In some places, the wind might be even stronger.

The high winds will drive waves very high starting on Monday, with the significant wave height (the average height of the highest one-third of all measured waves) reaching 13-20 feet (four to six meters). The waves may reach as high as 26 feet (eight meters).

As of Saturday, the Kinneret was at 210.77 meters below sea level, a rise of one centimeter compared to Friday, but a drop of 1.5 centimeters since last Saturday. The lake is 1.98 meters below the upper red line that marks a full lake and 2.22 meters above the lower red line that marks a dangerously low lake. The heavy rainfall expected with Carmel may help the water level rise.

The storm is the third named storm in the Eastern Mediterranean Group of EUMETNET, which includes the meteorological services of Israel, Greece and Cyprus. Other Hebrew names in the list of names for the 2021/2022 season include Irit, Joel, Lavi, Ora and Raphael.

Carmel has already brought stormy winds and snowfall to Greece, as well as a sharp drop in temperatures, according to Greek media. Cyprus was preparing for the storm to hit the island nation on Saturday night, issuing an orange-level warning due to expected high levels of rain and heavy thunderstorms, as well as strong winds.Cyprus state meteorologist Kleanthis Nicolaides said rain showers in the storm would bring “more rain in a single weekend than all of rain combined in one month,” according to the Kathimerini newspaper.