For the first time in 16 years, the water level in the Sea of Galilee has risen above the level of -209 meters (-686 feet). On Tuesday, the water level was measured at -208.985 meters below sea level, an increase of 1.5 cm (0.6 inches) since Monday.

According to the Israel Water Authority (IWA), the water level has been rising at a rate of 2.5 cm (0.98 inches) a day. At present, it is only 18.5 cm (7.3 inches) short of the Upper Red Line, the level at which a dam must be opened to allow water to flow out to prevent flooding.

The Sea of Galilee, Israel’s largest freshwater source, has benefited from an unusually rainy winter.

Three weeks ago, the IWA reported that the water level was higher than it had been in 17 years, standing 49 cm (19 inches) short of the Upper Red Line. This means that from March 23 to April 14, the lake rose by a foot.

More rain is forecast for later this week, and the lake is also expected to benefit from spring runoff.

This article first appeared in Israel Hayom.

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