Illustration: Woman in Spring Rain by Besno Pile [CC0, Public Domain] via Pixabay
There is record cold in the polar and arctic regions, which have produced very high values of the Arctic Oscillation and North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO). The positive NAO has been associated with our plentiful rainfall this winter, although there are most likely other factors as well.
The positive NAO tends to build a ridge of warmer air of western Europe, allowing a trough and colder air to build southward over the eastern Mediterranean. Ironically, the United States has been experiencing a very mild winter after years of extreme cold, but it will no longer be possible to attribute melting sea-ice and glaciers to global warming — since the cold in the polar and arctic regions is so intense.
If you were outside (like in Herzliya where I was for lunch at Jems-Herzliya restaurant), you probably noticed just how warm (and beautiful) it was Thursday — and Friday and Shabbat were also especially nice. Nevertheless, a trough should drop southward by later and showery — if not rainy — weather should persist from Sunday until possibly the end of the month.
Interestingly, temperatures are forecast to be on a downward trend as well. In fact, the deterministic Global Forecast System (GFS) shows a snowstorm affecting our area on or about the 29th of the month. Considering how colder the northern areas are, there is, perhaps, an above normal chance that winter will actually turn cold enough for a late snow.
However, I'm not sure that the "Israel Winter Weather" group will last this long to see this through. Two of its members have fallen into solemnity, while the other just spent two days skiing on the Hermon, treated to two days of snow. It's easy to stick together when times are good and winter weather is (or always seems to be) on the horizon, but what about when the clock is ticking down and soon no one will even care that it snowed a little bit the other night (in some places a little more and a little bit less of a little bit).
A recent article summarized research pertaining to the happiness and long term satisfaction of couples, no matter which type. The upshot is that women in traditional relationships are the least satisfied. In contrast, when typical stereotype expectations are broken down, better communication and more equal sharing of the burden of household work and child-rearing leads to lower stress and more time for couples to enjoy their family life together.
It seems almost ideal. Yet, the other day I heard this allegorical story about a wife seeking divorce (from her husband) from the Rabbinical Divorce Court. When asked why she wanted a divorce, she complained that he kept doing her laundry, making her bed, and cooking meals.
She said that before she was married her laundry always smelled like fresh flowers, her bed was neatly made with tucked corners, and she ate what she wanted, and there was no kitchen mess. The Rabbinical judges suggested to her that she could "live" with these things and perhaps seek happiness in her relationship in other ways: perhaps a movie together or a walk in the evening would make her forget her troubles.
She agreed to give it a try, but was back a couple months later, saying that her husband had finally ‘broken the camel's back’. "What was it?" the Rabbis asked. Her reply: "He took the garbage out — all five bags of it, and my whole morning schedule was just ruined. I was early everywhere I went and spent what felt like hours waiting for appointments and meetings."
The Rabbis huddled together, not sure what to do but knowing that they needed to take the complaints of this person (wife) very seriously. In the end, they brought the husband in and suggested in very strong terms that he just might consider going back to being a "normal" husband — stop trying to help so much and just let things be!
I heard that he lived happily ever after, and she stopped complaining. She didn't have time as she was very, very busy.
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.