BEIRUT: The Lebanese Agricultural Research Institute sent text messages via mobile phones to farmers Wednesday informing them that the country had seen 20 millimeters of rainfall over the last three days, bringing the total this year to 181 millimeters.
Last year between Jan. 1 and mid-March, Lebanon had already had 650 millimeters of rain, according to LARI, while the total from April 2012 to April 2013 was 720 millimeters. The yearly rainfall average is 600 millimeters.
The institute expects continued rainfall until March 15, with snow falling above 1,300 meters and strong winds across the country, especially in the southern cities of Sidon and Tyre. The institute has warned greenhouse owners in particular to be vigilant.
LARI also expects scattered showers at the end of this month and the beginning of April, a positive development for the agriculture sector.
However, according to Rafik Hariri International Airport’s meteorological department, Wednesday alone saw 18 millimeters of rain in Beirut and snowfall at 1,200 meters above sea level.
So far, the department says, Lebanon has had 390 millimeters of rain since the beginning of December, compared with 823 millimeters in the same period the year before.
The normal yearly total precipitation for Lebanon is 696 millimeters, according to records from the last 30 years, the department said, adding that the weekend would bring clear skies.
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on March 13, 2014, on page 4.