Illustration (Image Credit: Wix)
It's been a roller coaster week. The weather was hot; now it's cold and windy.
We had a storm that dropped down from the north and brought us some rain on Sunday. There wasn’t much moisture associated with this storm, so the rain was on the light side.
What's interesting is that the global forecast model is showing a very strong storm moving across the southern Mediterranean as the mid-week approaches. One might call this a sharav (heat wave), and indeed temperatures should bump up on Wednesday ahead of the storm. Moreover, the storm is forecast to stall as it moves north by to our west and up the coast. As it receives an infusion of colder air from the north, it should redevelop and linger over our area for at least a few days.
The 500 mb maps show that this storm should bring plenty of moisture at mid- and upper-levels, as well as bring strong upward motion associated with what meteorologists call a "vorticity max." The storm should be preceded by tropical moisture and then moisture should wrap back around the system as it stalls over our region. The result could be a heavy rain to end the month as we move into May (which itself may bring more rain as the first week in May begins).
I was thinking that our recent forecasts have been excellent. For example, last week we spoke about hot weather for Wednesday and Thursday, and that's what happened. We said that Friday would turn windy and cooler and that happened, too. It seems like our five or six day forecasts are getting to be quite good. What's still difficult is predicting the timing of the arrival of precipitation and surface temperatures the next day — which means that it's still hard to predict snow, even if we storm coming several days in advance.
Jerusalem forecast (click here for updated national forecasts)
Image credit: The Jerusalem Herald
What's not hard to predict is the reaction of world powers to anything that Israel does to defend itself. Considering that only the United States voted against — actually vetoed — a resolution to investigate what is happening along the Gaza border fence, one might think it a miracle that we're not condemned by everyone who has anything to say about it. Thank G-d for the United States!
What's even more amazing is that people seem to miss the obvious: why are these people protesting at the border fence and not against the Hamas government that has brought Gaza to the brink of collapse? In continuing to criticize Israel, it becomes apparent that in the end it is really all about politics. It's obvious that Israel is morally correct in protecting its citizens from infiltration — we can't have our country inundated with two million Gazans who would like to flee Hamas.
The hypocrisy of the world is even more obvious when considering what is happening in Syria. Recently, the Syrian government gassed its own people — again. The world, led by the US, responded by targeting a few locations in Syria, and then congratulating itself on taking a moral stand. Somehow, the previous deaths of 500,000 plus Syrians by rifle, mortar, bombs, and starvation is not a problem really worthy of response.
Basically, nations act in their best interests, and morality plays only a small part. One might note, for example, Israel's response to the Russian nerve agent attack on an ex-Russian agent on English soil. While England and other nations issued a strong condemnation, Israel only offered mild criticism: we need to be on Russia's good side, or we won't be able to attack Iran in Syria as it tries to build bases from which to attack us. British Prime Minister Theresa May responded by pointing out that friends support friends.
What is she talking about? During the Arab riots from the end of World War I until Israel’s War of Independence, the British would arrive at the scene three days after the fact, leaving the local Arab populations to murder as they wished. They also embargoed arms to the Jewish population and during World War II closed the gates of Palestine (soon-to-become Israel) to Jewish immigration — politics again. While the British didn't kill the Jewish people directly, their actions made it a lot harder for those fleeing Europe to escape. Moreover, after the war, they refused to allow the vast majority of Jewish survivors fleeing Europe to migrate to Palestine, interning them instead in camps in Cyprus.
Well, here's what I have to say. When friends come to visit, friends open the door — but the British slammed the door in our faces! This is hard for me to forget — no matter how much they profess friendship while voting against us at the UN.
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.