The Sea of Galilee, a popular tourist sight for Christian pilgrims, rose 11 inches in 24 hours after a rainy weekend, reports said.
According to the Israel Water Authority, the Kinneret, as it is called in Hebrew, is now 124.4 inches below its maximum level after unseasonably cold and wet weather continues to prevail in the region. Almost 40 inches of rain have fallen so far this winter, with more expected. The annual average rainfall in the area is 28 inches.
Meteorologist Dr. Barry Lynn told the Jerusalem Post that the winter rain was of “biblical proportions.”
“Joseph predicted seven years of plenty followed by seven years of famine,” he said. “But in our case we’ve had about seven years of drought now followed by unexpected rain.”
Since the beginning of winter, the lake’s level has risen by 2.68 meters but is still 3.19 meters below its optimal level, the water authority said.
The unexpected rise allayed concerns that the freshwater lake was on the verge of reaching dangerously low levels that could affect the water supply of the northeastern part of Israel. The lake supplies majority of water needs in the region.
Prior to this bountiful rainfall, Israel had been suffering from a five-year drought with 2018 being the driest in the last 100 years.
Just recently, meteorologists warned that the drought in the country would bring water levels to the “black line” and that at least six inches of water was needed. It is the lowest level reached by the lake since 1926. Though Israel is a leader in water technology because of recycling and desalination, the lake still accounts for 25 percent of the nation’s drinking water.
Because of fears concerning the low water levels, a built-in extra month of prayer for rain was inserted into the thrice-daily prayers during the autumn holiday of Sukkoth which extend until the springtime holiday of Passover on April 19.
The result? Flash floods all throughout the Judean Desert! Flood warnings are also in place for some areas as streams and waterfalls flow at faster levels due to the high levels of precipitation.