Image Credit: Lake and Dolomite Mountains by Dr. Barry Lynn
Last week I thought seriously about turning on my windshield wipers. It just seemed the thing to do as drops of rain fell from a cloudy sky. But, I resisted the temptation even as I marveled at the fall-like cloudy sky in the beginning of August.
Weak low pressure in the middle atmosphere combined with strong westerly flow aloft to bring us a chance of very light showers into last Shabbat. However, the winds switched to the southwest and temperatures warmed to uncomfortable levels (mid 30s) early this week.
The unusually cool weather of last week were courtesy of an unusually cold vortex over western Siberia. This is the type of setup that can contribute to bringing us unusually cold, and even snowy weather during our winter months. This vortex should elongate and move northward during this week's hot weather, but could return early next week.
Our kids have pointed out that there are some things one expects in Israel (besides missiles from Gaza) and that's hot, summer weather. Hence, they were surprised (and a bit annoyed) to arrive back in Israel after a visit to see the grandparents in Europe and to find that the weather here was the same as the weather we left in the Dolomites of Italy, where the elevation is closer to our Har Hermon than Gush Etzion.
Of course, that's nothing to complain about compared to the spider that ate my wife the week before last.
These strange happenings started in the evening when my wife went upstairs for an early bed-time. Relaxing and supine while looking at weather maps in the living room, I heard a scream. I came running upstairs (taking the stairs two at a time) to find a rather large spider in the bathroom. The spider was looking at my wife and my wife was looking at the spider, and then the spider was looking at the both of us. What the spider didn't know was that he (or she) looked larger to my wife than to me — it was as she later pointed out as big as Marmolada mountain in Italy — so it was left to me to grab a towel and show the spider the door.
However, no sooner had I mentioned that the spider likely had (has) a spider-mate, did I hear another scream from the bathroom, and the same process repeated itself.
After picking up and moving the furniture, cleaning the bedroom with a vacuum and a candle to light the way, we went to bed, but not before I remarked that I hoped that these spiders were the parents and not the children, otherwise I might not wake up next to my wife, but a spider.
I thought this pretty witty, but the crack of dawn revealed much less than a laughing matter. My wife was gone! It was no joke after all — a spider ate my wife!
Okay, that's seems far fetched. What really happened is that she dreamed that a spider ate me and she'd fled from the room for the safety of the lower floors. She wasn't eaten, she was just fled.
At least our room is clean for Passover.
Image credit: The Jerusalem Herald
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.