Thursday, December 12, 2013

Jerusalem Snow תשע"ד/2013

ט' לחודש העשירי תשע"ד

Well, I suppose that I would be remiss if I did not report on the snowfall in Jerusalem.
אֵשׁ וּבָרָד, שֶׁלֶג וְקִיטוֹר; רוּחַ סְעָרָה, עֹשָׂה דְבָרוֹ. תהלים קמח,ח
Fire and hail, snow and vapour, stormy wind, fulfilling His word. Psalms 148:8
Leading up to today, there were mixed reports on weather sites, which quickly turned into unanimous bets on snow to begin Wednesday (last) night. Kicking myself that I had yet to purchase a gas balloon for cooking back-up, in case the electricity were to go, I was told that no one ever remembered the electricity going out during the snow in Jerusalem.

I, too, remembered being snowed in in Ofra, with a crappy electrical system, a product of German Holocaust reparations, I believe. But, I guess it wasn't so crappy, because it didn't go out during the snow. I was stuck in my caravan (trailer) for three days. But, I wasn't going to complain. I had plenty of food, electricity, and Ofra's satellite television, consisting of the three Israeli channels, CNN (gag!), Hallmark, and BBC Prime, and didn't have to go to work. My cellular network was out the whole time, and I didn't have Internet, but that probably made the snow experience even better.

But, I digress....

View from my balcony:
The lights on the sukkah still haven't been taken down, and are collecting snow.

Today, when I left for work at 8:30, it was still snowing. I had already received a phone from my boss, letting me know that we would be open today as usual,...just in case I was in any doubt. I continued my trek to the bus stop. I several buses going a different way than their usual routes. Uh-oh, I thought. Now I have to figure out the detours, or just give up and walk through the snow and slush. Fortunately, I had my fantastic galoshes and rain slicker (with shtreimel-shaped hood), purchased last year.

As I panned the area to see that less than half of local businesses were open, I noticed some buses on their regular route trying to turn around. Some drivers were at a stand still, and on their phones. Still other buses had their hazard lights on, their drivers absent, probably out getting something warm to drink.

The snow started to come down even harder. At that moment I heard my phone. It was my boss. I had already missed two of her calls. She said to forget it. Whoo-Hoo! When she was going into work, she was already almost in an accident herself. I reminded here that it would become even more dangerous when the snow started to melt. Native Israelis in the center of the country hardly have any experience driving in snow, slush, or ice. She shouldn't take any chances. Even though as a former New Yorker, she didn't need the reminder.

Screen Shot: Live Kotel Cam
9 Teveth, 5774/December 12, 2013, 12:30 PM

I was certainly not going to argue about having the day off from work, especially since I work much farther away from home than my former five-minute walk. I figured that while I am out, I might as well finish my last bit of shopping for Shabbath. Depending on how I feel tomorrow, dessert and snacks may or may not happen.

So now, here I am, snuggled up in front of my space heater and computer screen, with hot coffee and a friend egg sandwich with tehinah.

The snow subsided at around 11:30 AM. But, now at 1:30 PM, it's on again, off again.

Yaakov Cantor, Jerusalem meteorologist reports:
Israel weather update: Major winter storm in progress and will continue through Shabbat morning... 
Temperatures have cooled faster than expected in Jerusalem, Shomron, Gush Etzion area. Snow is currently being reported in Israel above about 650 m elevation. Total accumulations are likely to be higher than earlier expectations, 20-40 cm by Shabbat morning in Jerusalem, Gush Etzion, and Shomron.

Although locally heavy snow has fallen so far, it has been a wet snow. The heaviest accumulations are likely to be tonight (Thursday) when the coldest air aloft arrives and snow becomes a little drier.
Stay tuned!

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