Photo Credit: Ben Kelmer / Flash 90
Palm trees whipping about in the wind of a winter storm in Tel Aviv.

The wind was already howling in the Negev by 12 noon on Sunday. Operators at the Mount Hermon ski resort had closed to access road to the site by midday, with a few inches of snow already dusting the landscape.

But that was just for starters. Forecasters are predicting a three-day storm to hit the region, with up to 80-kilometer (50 mph) winds starting Sunday night.

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It almost seemed as though, having worn out its “whiteout weekend welcome” on the Eastern Seaboard of the United States, the blizzard had decided to cross the Pond and visit Jewish cousins in the Middle East.

In Jerusalem, city service workers pruned trees quickly to prevent branches from snapping and tearing down power lines.

Yuval Steinitz, Minister of Infrastructure, Energy and Water ordered the Israel Electric Company to avoid disconnecting customers during the storm whose bills were in arrears.

In Tzefat, Ziv Medical Center prepared its emergency room personnel for a possible influx of arrivals with hypothermia.

Snow is forecast as far south as Hebron and the south Hebron Hills, with possible snow fall in the mountainous regions of the Negev – and as far north as the Golan Heights.

Thunderstorms, high winds, some hail and freezing temperatures were forecast for the northern Negev and the central region of the country.

Temperatures will be slightly higher in Tel Aviv, with some rain and wind. Further south, the winds will weaken but the possibility of flash flooding still remains in the forecast at least through Tuesday.

Since Monday is the Jewish holiday of Tu B’Shevat – the holiday of the blossoming the trees – it is ironic and yet wonderful that such an abundance of nurturing moisture should drop on the Holy Land precisely at this time.

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for Babble.com, Chabad.org and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.

6 COMMENTS

  1. Thisis still one more wake-up call about how climate change is resulting in increasingly severe storms, as well as other severe climate events.

    Please do an Internet search using the words 'blizzard' and 'climate change' and you will find several articles pointing out that global warming makes severe blizzards more likely.
    There are three reasons: warmer air holds more moisture; warmer oceans provide more energy to storms; and higher oceans make storm surges more harmful.

    Here are ten important reasons everybody should be concerned about climate change:
    1. Science academies worldwide, 97% of climate scientists, and 99.9% of peer-reviewed papers on the issue in respected scientific journals argue that climate change is real, is largely caused by human activities, and poses great threats to humanity.
    2. Every decade since the 1970s has been warmer than the previous decade and all of the 17 warmest years since temperature records were kept in 1880 have been since 1998. 2015 is the warmest year globally since 1880 when temperature records were first kept, breaking therecord held befoe by 2014.
    3. Polar icecaps and glaciers worldwide have been melting rapidly, faster than scientific projections.
    4. There has been an increase in the number and severity of droughts, wildfires, storms, and floods. Seems to be stories about this almost daily on TV news.
    5. California has been subjected to so many severe climate events (heat waves, droughts, wildfires, and mudslides when heavy rains occur) recently that its governor, Jerry Brown, stated that, “Humanity is on a collision course with nature.”
    6. Many climates experts believe that we are close to a tipping point when climate change will spiral out of control, with disastrous consequences, unless major positive changes soon occur.
    7. While climate scientists believe that 350 parts per million (ppm) of atmospheric CO2 is a threshold value for climate stability, the world reached 400 ppm in 2014, and the amount is increasing by 2 – 3 ppm per year.
    8. While climate scientists hope that temperature increases can be limited to two degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit), largely because that is the best that can be hoped for with current trends and momentum, the world is now on track for an average increase of 4 – 5 degrees Celsius, which would produce a world with almost unimaginably negative climate events .
    9. The Pentagon and other military groups believe that climate change will increase the potential for instability, terrorism, and war by reducing access to food and clean water and by causing tens of millions of desperate refuges fleeing from droughts, wildfire, floods, storms, and other effects of climate change.
    10. The conservative group ConservAmerica (www.ConservAmerica.org), formerly known as ‘Republicans for Environmental Protection,’ is very concerned about climate change threats. They are working to end the denial about climate threats and the urgency of working to avert them on the part of the vast majority of Republicans, but so far with very limited success.

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