Illustration (Thunderstorm by FelixMittermeier (CC0) via pixabay)
Today heralds the arrival of our first winter storm. True, temperatures are more like fall than winter, but the winds, precipitation amounts, and length of the storm are more similar to winter storms of past years than to brief, but heavy rains of fall. Click here for up-to-date forecasts and further information.
The heaviest rain and severe thunderstorms last night were south of Cyprus and west of Haifa, but today they were over northern Israel and along the Jordan Valley north and south of the Dead sea (see our "PulseRad" lightning map from this Thursday afternoon).
Tonight a strong cold front will move southward as the storm center moves into Lebanon and Syria. The GFS (Global Forecast Model) is predicting rain over southern areas, but our high resolution ensemble predicts heavy rain stretching southwest near Gaza northeast through Jerusalem to just south of Lake Kinneret. The heaviest rain should fall late night into Friday morning, with showers and periods of rain over the center and southern areas on Friday. Rain should also occur over the far north.
The forecast is also showing not just rain, but lightning as well. With the storms should come strong winds between 50 and 75 km/h (30-45 mph), with higher values along the northwest coast.
The next week will see a return to more fall-like weather.
Dr. Lynn is a lecturer at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Earth Sciences Department. He is also CEO of Weather It Is, LTD, a company that specializes in reducing weather risk. Click here to read more of this author’s work in The Jerusalem Herald.