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Winter storm “Carmel” hits Israel with strong winds, heavy rain and snow

winter-storm-carmel-israel-rare-snow-alexandria-december-2021

A severe winter storm named Carmel made landfall over Israel on Monday, December 20, 2021, bringing strong winds, heavy rain and snow. Carmel is the 3rd winter storm named by the newly formed East Mediterranean Storm Naming Group, composed of Greece, Cyprus and Israel.

The storm is expected to peak today before gradually weakening and dissipating by Wednesday, December 22, according to the Israel Meteorological Service (IMS).

The service warned of strong winds up to 100 km/h (62 mph), up to 100 mm (3.9 inches) of rain and waves up to 4 to 6 m (13 – 19.6 feet).1

At Mount Hermon, snow began falling on Sunday, December 19 and intensified on Monday with 5 – 10 cm (2 – 4 inches) at its base and 30 cm (12 inches) at the summit by 12:00 LT.

As Monday progresses, Israelis can expect to see “unseasonably cold” temperatures of 6 to 9 °C (43 to 49 °F) with rainstorms in the north and center, further snow on Mount Hermon and a 'risk of flooding in flood-prone areas,' the IMS said.

There is a chance of isolated rainfall and sandstorms in the south, accompanied by a midday risk of flash floods in the Judean Desert and Dead Sea area, IMS added.

Image credit NASA/Terra MODIS. Acquired on December 20, 2021

The storm is also affecting neighboring countries, bringing rare snowfall to Alexandria and other areas in Egypt's north and forcing authorities to close ports and suspend classes.

"We are facing tough days and levels of precipitation that will lead to dangers," Israeli Public Security Minister Omer Barlev said after holding an assessment with emergency and security officials.2

"The emergency forces will be ready for the challenges and surprises."

Reference:

1 Heavy Winter Storm Carmel Hits Israel – Haaretz

2 Israel braces for arrival of major winter storm ‘Carmel’ – TimesOfIsrael

Featured image credit: NASA/Terra MODIS. Acquired on December 20, 2021

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