Illustration: Late Summer Sunset (Image credit: Efrat Lynn © 2019)
We're moving along into fall, and the weather is changing accordingly. The seasonal forecast from the ECMWF (European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts) continues to show above normal temperatures through November, but increasingly above normal rain amounts as we move from October to November, and then November to December. December's temperatures should be average, so perhaps we'll see a late December snow. That's exciting news, but you can also note that January is supposed to be drier than normal.
We'll have to wait and see if these forecasts are going to be accurate — I hope we don't have to wait similarly as long to see what Knesset parties will make up our new government!
One thing we do know is that the days prior to Yom Kippur have been quite a bit cooler than the previous few days, but Yom Kippur itself could be a tad too warm. Moreover, there may even be warmer days that follow, as summer-like temperatures hang on a bit longer. Still, temperatures in the upper atmosphere are forecast to fall quite steadily, and we'll need these temperatures to be relatively low before we can get any substantial fall rains.
Even though the future is uncertain, the past seems less so. For instance, the weather days of Rosh HaShanah were really quite nice. I saw plenty of people outdoors and most seemed quite happy to be heading home around lunchtime after the morning shofar blowing.
Of course, we all know that the daylong (if not longer) prayers of Yom Kippur will soon be upon us. I have it on good authority that there are some synagogues that pray so slowly they don't even finish by nightfall, and that there are a few that continue all the way to Passover. That's what's called dedication, especially since the fast doesn't end until the shofar blowing at the end of services.
It's strange to see people with such dedication, but a stranger thing happened to me. I had a broken dryer fixed about the same time that my laundry room fan broke. The heating element was broken and the fan didn't spin fast enough to remove the room humidity (the latter independently confirmed). Of course, a day or so later I called the repair-person to let him know that the element was broken again, and of course he came and pointed out that it was working fine. Strangely enough the fan also works fine again.
You've probably had the same thing happen with a computer that won't start — but then magically starts when you bring it in to be fixed. Or, perhaps a wife tells her best friend about her annoying husband, only to come home soon to find out that he's the sweetest guy she could have ever married.
There are three possibilities that can explain strange happenings such as these. Getting back to our first example: the first is that both the dryer and fan fixed themselves. The second is that I was mistaken about the dryer — but this doesn't explain the broken fan that now works even though no one came to fix it. The third is that our fixed dryer was temporarily replaced with a still broken dryer from another universe — where some poor soul now has both a broken dryer and a broken laundry room fan.
I think that the third option is the most likely, but I'd rather spend my next few months forecasting weather, whereby I can hypothesize, pontificate, and expound, and even be wrong — yet still have a shred of credibility — then to speculate about dryers that fix themselves.
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.