A weeklong thunderstorm has set the record for the most rain in Israel in October, the Israel Meteorological Service stated late Thursday night.
No less than 219 mm (8.6 inches) of rain fell at the Kibbutz Shfayam observation site in the Sharon region from October 1 until 4 p.m. Tuesday – far more than the average of 35 mm (1.3 inches).
And while winter has yet to officially begin by Israeli standards, the Sharon area has now received one-third of its annual rainfall, Walla! News reports.
Rainfall consistently broke averages across the Sharon region this month, with 124 mm (4.8 inches) reported in Ra'anana and 115 mm (4.5 inches) in Kfar Shmaryahu.
Winter weather exceeded expectations in the Gaza Belt, Coastal, and Mishor HaHof regions as well – with 112 mm (4.4 inches) reported in Kibbutz Erez near the Gaza border and between 40-80 mm (1.6-3.1 inches) reported along the coast.
In the Jordan Valley, 42 mm (1.65 inches) of rain fell in October, nearly five times the monthly average of 9 mm (0.35 inches), ruining crops and prompting regional council head David Elhayani to ask to declare a state of emergency.
37 mm (inches) fell in the Dead Sea area; and 31 mm (1.45 inches) fell in the Arava desert region – fulfilling the yearly rain quota in weeks.
Rainfall approached average levels in Israel's hillier regions, however, with just 20-25 mm (0.75-0.98 inches) reported in the greater Judean hills region and 10-25 mm (0.39-0.98 inches) in the north.
Despite the deluge, the administrator of the climate branch of the Meteorological Service, Dr. Amos Porat, clarified that the rainfall does not break the national record for winter weather – and does not even come close to breaking that record – due to the majority of it being concentrated in the Sharon region alone.