Waiting For Spring (Image Credit: Yaakov Consor © 2019)
Some rain and winter cold has spread over the country — consistent with "medium" range forecasts of a couple of weeks ago. Moreover, such winter cold has about an 80% chance of continuing into early March.
The Global Forecast Ensemble System (GEFS) predicts that even colder winter temperatures will arrive both from the direction of Siberia and from unusually cold winter weather over Greenland. First, a cold "trough" in the wave pattern of air should drop in around February 25th, with another shot of cold air to follow a few days later (near the end of the month). Additional cold air may arrive from Greenland via northern Europe as storms traverse a strong "ridge" of relatively warm air over western and central Europe.
However, both the newer version of the Global Forecast Systems model (GFS) and the European Center for Medium Range Weather Forecasting (ECMWF) models (the deterministic and ensemble) are pointing towards real winter cold holding off until the very end of the month and early March.
We're going to have to wait a few days to see how this cold weather plays itself out in the forecast (and then reality), but winter is not going away, and it looks ready to bring us our coldest weather and highest chances for snow so far this year.
While one might be impressed by how cold it is going to get, and how long it will stay cold (with low temperatures near zero or single digits (Celsius), one might also begin to wonder: "What's the point? Where’s the snow, and if there’s no snow, why not bring on summer a tad bit early?” In fact, I have people telling me just that. I hope that they can be patient. We're a small country and getting the weather just right for snow takes time and effort.
As mentioned, Israel is a small country beset by much larger neighbors of whom many don't wish it well. This is ironic because the minority Arab population has a standard of living much higher here than in surrounding (Arab) countries, and also partakes in the country's civic and work life as well.
Still, such is the case, and I suppose that it was to be expected that we would have our own "Israeli moments" at some point. The first was the late arrival of our son Friday night, which required a visit by the local security and then the Israel police — all of whom helped us (quite kindly) locate our son. The second was when I received a notice from my daughter that she was "okay," and not on the bus that crashed on the way to Modi'in.
One tragedy that was clearly not okay was the murder of Ori Ansbacher, by an unrepentant "Palestinian" from Hebron, who "wanted to kill a Jew and be a martyr." Strangely, he was "disowned" by local terrorist groups, who (I paraphrase) said that it wasn't honorable to sexually assault and kill a girl who went out into the woods to read. He's actually not being offered the usual praise and congratulations for murdering a Jewish Israeli. Then, we read that Ori's family was visited by "Palestinians" who wished to express their condolences.
This is all quite unexpected but is relevant to a conversation I had with a co-worker who asked me what my plan is for making peace. My response was that they should stop trying to kill us. He responded that is no plan at all, and that the Israeli army had killed more "Palestinians" than they us, confusing self defense with murder.
That confusion happens among the most well-intentioned people, but I truly believe that coexistence is possible; we would need many more "Palestinians" to wonder if murder is ever justified. That was the idea after the signing of the Oslo Accords, but Mr. Arafat had other ideas — he was simply biding his time until he could start the next war from close up — and his successor still "pays to slay" his citizens to murder Israelis.
One might wonder how has the State of Israel (but really the Jewish people) survived 70 plus years of Arab and "Palestinian" terrorism? Of course, the Israeli Defense Forces, and the local (Shin Bet) and external (Mossad) secret services have been instrumental in protecting the state. However, none of these defenses is foolproof.
My guess is that we've survived simply because of the power of the shiva or mourning period to uplift those who have suffered the worst losses from the depths of despair — I hope never to find out. I think that it does so by providing the opportunity to bring forth memories of the departed into the present, and through the retelling of these memories this person — or even child, G-d forbid — lives within us, and this gives us the strength to go forward. It's given the Jewish people itself the power to survive.
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.