WEATHER: Almost (Snow) Doesn’t Count

December 24, 2018

Illustration: Storm Over Judean Hills (Image credit: Dr. Barry Lynn)

 

As we head into the end of the month, we've arrived at an almost — an almost snowstorm in Jerusalem.  

 

Tomorrow, the winds will switch to the southwest at all levels of the atmosphere, bringing with them dry and warmer air, as well as dust.  However, by Wednesday, the winds are forecast to switch back to the west by northwest, and temperatures will plummet. With the plummeting temperatures will come plenty of moisture, such that rain should return from the north to the northern Negev and last into Friday, if not Shabbat.

 

On Thursday, forecast mean ensemble temperatures with this storm will be close to zero at 850 mb, and close to -10 C at 700 mb.  This will combine with average temperatures at 500 mb close to -25 degrees.

 

For snow to fall in Jerusalem, though, we need temperatures two to three degrees colder than the mean values just mentioned. It seems unlikely that we will reach these values, even if the coldest forecasts among the set of 20 forecasts actually occurs.  Hence, while there is a chance of wet snow/rain on Thursday, it will more likely be rain mixed with ice pellets.

 

One might think that after our weather-active November and December, January might take a few days off to bring us a bit more sun and warmth. However, the long range forecast shows cold (Israeli winter) weather continuing the first two weeks of January with periods of precipitation within.

 

We'll keep you posted.

 

Jerusalem forecast (click here for updated national forecasts):

 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.  Click here to read more of this writer’s work in The Jerusalem Herald.

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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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