Weather: How a Secret Cabal Prevented the Snow

February 21, 2018

Illustration (Image Credit: Wix)

 

Intense low pressure located over northern Syria and Turkey has brought a stormy end to our rainy weather. This is the same storm that brought us very strong winds and heavy rain. Here in Efrat, the winds gusted to 70 km/h last night and then again today as the storm moved away, but intensified.

 

The strong circulation around the storm also scooped up moisture off the sea leading to dense fog, especially in mountainous areas. There was also dust over the south, and even a few rain showers. All in all, the weather was simply unpleasant.

 

Still, we're thankful for the rain, and the clouds that hid our airplanes from view last night from Gazan anti-aircraft "crews." We're also thankful for the rain for simply raining (again)-- as many areas are just below or just above normal for the year.

 

Looking into the coming week, the winds should subside and temperatures should moderate.  It looks like strong south westerly flow will then bring moisture at the upper levels, which will then bring rain again as the next storm approaches late this week and winds switch into the west moistening the lower levels of the atmosphere. In fact, it may be rainy until the end of the month.

 

Right now, the forecast temperatures as we move into the last week of the month are showing a large range of possibilities on the Global Ensemble Forecast. Some are drier and warmer, while some are in between and wet. A few are even chilly or even cold.

 

Jerusalem forecast (click here for updated national forecasts):

Image credit: The Jerusalem Herald

 

I was a bit surprised to come across a transcript of a recent conversation between two folks who spend too much of their time telling us the weather. I bring it to your attention because it verifies something I've always feared, but never believed.  Read carefully (note: V1 is the first voice in the transcript).

 

V1: "Hi.  Any good news?"

 

V2: "As of now blocking up north isn't in our favor."

 

V2: "The AO (Artic Oscillation) and NAO (North Atlantic Oscillation) are also forecast to not be in our favor."

 

[Note: The AO and NAO are indices that measure variations in surface pressure patterns, and their positive or negative values indicate whether the global weather pattern will be zonal (west to east) or meridional (wavy). Ironically, a large positive NAO could induce cold weather here because other factors can then come into play to bring us snow.]

 

V1: "This might be ‘all she wrote’ for our winter chances of snow! But it did snow 30 cm (11.8 in) at Purim time 33 years ago. That's why people always say it snows at Purim time."

 

V2: "It all depends on position of the blocking ridge over Europe, and this is notoriously hard to forecast."

 

V1: "So, where is the block now?"

 

V2: "Very far north over Scandinavia and forecast to go westward towards Greenland."

 

[Note: this type of pattern tends to bring warm air into the eastern Mediterranean as southerly winds develop eastward of the blocking ridge and accompanying trough over Europe.]

 

V1: "Maybe now that you know what's forecast it will move eastward, bring us cold weather???"

 

V2: "Haha. If I had such power to make what I know happen... There would be 10 feet of snow in Jerusalem."

 

[Note: V1 calls V2 on this, and the truth comes out -- pay attention.]

 

V1: "We'd be weathermen!"

 

[Note: the proof follows!]

 

V1: "But wait... You had a baby and cancelled the snow that Friday, so you and the family could get about for the Brit."

 

V2: "Yah, that guy was left holding the [wet] bag"

 

There you have it! You might remember that one intrepid meteorologist called, unexpectedly, for a quickly accumulating snow. Little did he know of the nefarious working of the weather-cabal!

 

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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בס"ד

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

...Raise your voice with strength, herald of Jerusalem; raise it, do not be afraid; say to the cities of Judah, "Here is your G-d!"

(Isaiah 40:9)

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