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July 4, 2015 / 17 Tammuz, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘winter’

Snow Falls in Jerusalem; Israel Braces for ‘Maximum’ Storm

Friday, February 20th, 2015

Snow is falling in Jerusalem as the country braces for what may be the biggest winter storm of the year. A light blanket of white dropped upon the hills and mountains in Israel’s northern region.

Residents hunkered down under frigid temperatures, gale force winds and unusually high waves along Israel’s Mediterranean coast. Government officials met with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to make final preparations on services needed to meet any challenges that could arise during the bad weather.

Roads were closed down due to difficult conditions in several areas in northern Israel, with the strong possibility that the same might happen on the main arteries into Jerusalem, depending on the level of snow accumulation.

Icy rain had already begun falling by Thursday morning as far south as the northern Negev desert. “It is a maximum storm,” Arad resident Coby Schneider told JewishPress.com. “Raining and absolutely freezing and they say we will see snow here too.”

Precipitation is expected to continue Friday, with strong winds through the Sabbath and the possibility of flooding as well.

Snow on Thursday, Summer on Monday

Wednesday, February 18th, 2015

Snow will begin to fall on Thursday evening, and Israelis in Jerusalem and even on the hills of Carmel overlooking Haifa will see a winter wonderland Friday morning.

Up to a foot may fall on Jerusalem, Gush Etzion and Hebron.

The unusually late snowstorm will be accompanied by high winds and freezing temperatures that will bring snow to areas as low as 200 meters (1,000 feet), which includes Karnei-Ginot Shomron in Samaria, Nazareth, Upper Haifa, Modi’in and Arad and possibly even on Ben Gurion Airport and as far south as Be’er Sheva in the Negev Desert.

There is a chance that snow also will fall on Maaleh Adumim, a rarity. Rain and hail will fall on Tel Aviv.

Rain will fall Thursday morning and turn to snow by evening and continue through the night. Snow will be occasional on Friday and will resume at higher levels at night and Saturday morning before ending.

The storm will bring approximately 4 inches of precipitation to the Hermon and higher hills in northern Israel. Using the usual equation that one inch of rain equals 10 inches of snow, accumulations will reach three feet on the upper slopes of the Hermon.

At least 2 inches of rain is expected to fall on the Sea of Galilee (Kinneret), which along with run-off from mountain streams next week will raise the level of the lake significantly.

Even the Jordan Valley will be blessed with an unusually large amount of rain, possibly more than in inch, and half an inch will fall in the Arava, north of Eilat.

As usual, the snow will not stay on the ground for long. The thermometer will rise on Sunday and by Monday, it will be pleasant and warmer than usual, with lots of slush.

However, winter can’t be over because Purim is two weeks away. The holiday usually is wet.

 

 

 

 

Wet and Stormy Winter Ahead

Tuesday, August 26th, 2014

Israel’s Water Authority has published its winter weather forecast.

According to the forecast, the months of October to January will be stormy and wet, with a lot of rain.

Stormy, we were expecting, one way or another.

But a lot of rain will be a blessing.

 

It’s Raining on my Money

Monday, March 10th, 2014

A Jerusalem woman is trying to hold on to her umbrella while withdrawing some cash at a Meah Shearim ATM, Sunday, March 9, 2014.

The rain appeared out of the blue (which is how rain should), after a warm week that started to feel like summer. Well, it don’t feel like summer no more. Last night yours truly drove to the nearby town of Ra’anana in very serious rain and it got a little scary. Rain in Israel has a similar effect as 2 inches of snow in Atlanta, GA: folks behind the wheel stop thinking rationally.

Don’t ask what happens when we get 2 inches of snow.

Here’s a rain image from the Jaffa Gate in the old city, below David’s Citadel.

Photo by Yonatan Sindel/Flash90

Photo by Yonatan Sindel/Flash90

The Winter of our Discontent

Tuesday, February 18th, 2014

If you’re feeling down, stop reading right now. You’re only going to be more depressed.

This is the winter of our discontent. Morbid, morose, awful weather in the US (yes, I know, I know. I should be living in Israel). So much snow that I’m convinced that my New Jersey town is an alpine ski village. Walking home from Synagogue with my kids is like a dangerous obstacle course, climbing snow drifts that easily reach to about 5 feet. Waking up every day to the same, dreary, bleak sky that inevitably drops another foot of snow on us. Coughing constantly. Feeling always sick.

The weather is the biggest story on the news. Sochi looks like the Caribbean compared to New York and New Jersey. Did you ever imagine that Russia would look tropical compared to the United States? Atlanta, which is the deep South for crying out loud, has been turned into Siberia. Everyone I know is going stir crazy from being cooped up inside. What else would explain why they have become experts in luge?

Last week I passed what was arguably the least productive week of my life. I felt lethargic, unfocused, easily distracted, and miserable. I had terrible writer’s block and struggled to scrape together a few tweets.

My kids tell me that, from Poland, I brought back a sinister Polish virus of some sort. I had gone for the Knesset’s historic visit to Auschwitz. Visiting the death camp in the dead of winter was bleak enough. But then I traveled on my own to see the last vestiges of the Warsaw ghetto. I ran around in bone-chilling cold witnessing the most depressing places on earth, where my people were frozen, starved, and gassed to death. Covered in so many layers I still shivered and shuddered. I wondered how anyone could have survived wearing rags and no shoes.

I came back not even realizing how psychologically and emotionally distressed I was. And it took a toll on me physically. My body became a walking pharmacy as I ingested every prescription drug known to man that can stop a cough, reduce a fever, and generally keep you alive when you don’t feel like living.

The sicker I became and the less productive I was, the more miserable I felt. We have a huge dinner coming up, presenting our annual Champions of Jewish Values Awards to, among others, Ambassador Ron Dermer, John Prendergast, Senator Cory Booker, Sean Penn, and Bret Stephens, hosted by Sheldon and Miriam Adelson and Michael and Judy Steinhardt. Aside from other responsibilities, the dinner is a colossal undertaking, with hundreds of guests expected at Cipriani in midtown. Our staff toiled at the undertaking and the effort helped me in overcoming my gloom.

But for me the weather was an external manifestation of the current state of the world, which is unexpectedly gloomy. We live in morally archaic times that can really drag you down. The world seems to have erased the line separating right from wrong. Yes, I know. We don’t live during the Second World War, where civilization itself was imperiled. We don’t live during the Civil War when America was cut to pieces between warring North and South.

And yet…

In those times there was a clear delineation between good and evil. Germany was evil. To the core. Slavery was evil. To the bone.

But the bad things happening in the world today seem to just arise spontaneously with noone bearing any responsibility. There is no evil party. One hundred and fifty thousand people have died in Syria. But noone is to blame. Assad is not a murderer. Rather, there is a civil war.

Iran celebrates the 35th anniversary of their revolution. It’s not “Long Live Iran” which is the slogan of choice but “Death to America.” But that’s OK because Iran, we’re told, has become moderate.

Israel, the only democracy in the Middle East, comes in for international condemnation for a factory that makes fizzy drinks! A soda factory that employs more Palestinians and Arabs than Jews has become the focal point of renewed international condemnation of the Jewish state.

And the American Secretary of State, who we are told we cannot criticize because he has been an amazing friend to Israel (which he has, but what does that have to do with the current, unbalanced pressure or the right to criticize a public official?) warns that if Israel doesn’t sign a deal with Mahmoud Abbas, whose terms as President ended in January 2009 but has been extended indefinitely without an election, boycotts against the Jewish state will only increase. And why Israel specifically when other nations have human rights records that compared to Israel are positively appalling?

It’s all a little depressing. And it’s so much worse when you frame the never-ending assault on Israel within the context of the holocaust.

What’s the world’s problem with the Jews? What is this strange, eternal obsession? The Arab states together are 649 times larger than Israel. What abnormal world fixation could there be with Israel’s puny 21k square kilometers compared to the Arabs’ combined 13.5 million?

In the end, of course, winter will pass, the snow will melt, the sun will once again shine, and parents will fly kites and throw balls with their children in the park.

We can only hope that Israel and the Jewish people will similarly experience a bright summer after this winter of discontent.

Golan Heights Reindeer

Monday, December 23rd, 2013

According to GoIsrael, Odem Forest, in the northern Golan, is the home of a deer reserve, with many different species.

Nearby you can also see Rujum al-Hiri (Circle of Ghosts), a Megalithic structure about 5,000 years old that researchers believe was used for ritual purposes, burial or as an astronomy observatory.

And feeding reindeer?

Photo credit: FLASH90

Photo credit: FLASH90

Air Force Airlifts Generators for Blacked-out Towns in Samaria

Tuesday, December 17th, 2013

The Israeli Air Force has airlifted generators to end an electricity blackout in the Jewish communities of Itamar and Shiloh in Samaria (Shomron.)

The two towns, along with several other smaller communities, have been without electricity since last Thursday because of the savage storm that crippled Israel with more than three feet of snow and torrential rains in low-level areas. Teams of repairmen have been working around the clock to restore the electrical supply to all the hundreds of disconnected homes.

Aharon Katsof, a resident of Aish Kodesh in the Binyamin region of Samaria, told Tazpit News Agency, “We have been without power for five days.  We have been using wood for heat, and gas for cooking. We also lost our water supply, so we melted snow for water. During the first days we had a problem with food supplies, and we were completely cut off.

“At some point the army began to provide us with food. Those who had wood-heating hosted those families who had none. We had communal meals. Today, most cars were dug out of the snow, and so we can get in and out; the siege has been broken.”

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/air-force-airlifts-generators-for-blacked-out-towns-in-samaria/2013/12/17/

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