Weather Surprises Lead to Dead Sea Soup Jokes

Aerial view of the Dead Sea. (Image credit: Moshe Milner/Government Press Office of Israel)

Our recent rains were quite heavy. Here in Efrat, we recorded almost 50 mm of rain, and it occurred in about 12 hours of time. Where I come from, this would be equivalent to about 20 inches of snow in half a day -- except where I live now it's usually too warm for snow. On a side note: the amounts that occurred were about three times the amounts forecast -- so the weather can still surprise us. There were very many heavy rain showers embedded in the storm, which meant that the air was both more moist and more cold than forecast. The temperatures were on the chilly side early in the week, but they rebounded by Tuesday and will stay at mild levels until Shabbat. At that time, an even stronger storm is forecast to approach our area and heavy rain will probably occur over many areas. Temperatures should also fall to chilly levels, and remain there for a few days.

I just received historical weather data from The Israeli Atmospheric and Climatic Data Center (IACDC), funded by the Ministry of Science and Technology and set up at the Tel Aviv University. I'd like to do two things: i) analyze the data for trends, and ii) determine what is normal weather on each particular day.

Too many times, we say, "Boy, it's hot" or "This winter is much cooler than last," but we really don't know. Our memories are actually quite faulty when it comes to remembering past events, and especially weather (as who really notices the weather anyway). Analyzing the data for trends is not really anything new, although the results of such analysis are not readily available. I rarely see any reference in publicly given forecasts relative to what is normal weather. When I complete my analysis, I plan to add the results of this feature to my website. Jerusalem forecast (click for other forecasts):

Image credit: The Jerusalem Herald

I thought of a few more jokes about restaurants that charge a lot for meal courses, but serve very little food. First: “They have elegant service, but relatively little to serve.” Next: “I noticed that my son had a very large bowl of soup. However, it turned out that the birds-eye view of the bowl and its soup reminded one of the Dead Sea.” And last: “My plate was so large, I had to stand to reach the food in the middle of it.” I won't be heading over to Avi Liberman’s “Comedy for Koby”, but at least my wife laughed (and I suppose that's good).

Dr. Lynn is a lecturer at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Earth Sciences Department. He is also CEO of Weather It Is, LTD, a company that specializes in reducing weather risk.

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...הָרִימִי בַכֹּחַ קוֹלֵךְ מְבַשֶּׂרֶת יְרוּשָׁלִָם הָרִימִי אַל תִּירָאִי אִמְרִי לְעָרֵי יְהוּדָה הִנֵּה אֱלֹקֵיכֶם! (ישעיה  מ:ט)

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(Isaiah 40:9)

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