Barry Lynn
Intersection of Science and Policy

Winter Time?

Deer frollicking in the words, early morning in Millwood, NY. (courtesy)

The calendar might soon say “Spring.”  Yet, the calendar will turn from winter into spring with both a fairly heavy rain and a winter-like chill.

A very active polar jet stream should drop a trough of low pressure into our area as Shabbat (Saturday) moves into Sunday.  Heavy rain and then showers are expected to continue into Tuesday of next week.

Towards the end of next week, a trough of cold air may break off the polar jet and move through the northern Sinai into southern Israel.  Plenty of dust should be advected into this storm, which would probably lead to strong (more tropical) thunderstorms, with plenty of hail and flooding rains.  This situation will need to be watched carefully.

The end of the month should feature milder weather.  We’ll see what April and Passover brings next.

Speaking of watching, this winter we spent a lot of time watching the weather maps and hoping for a Jerusalem snow event.  Alas, while it snowed several centimeters in Gush Etzion and more in the Golan, this winter was notable for its lack of precipitation and cold weather.

Hence, I did the only thing I could do.  I travelled.

I spent two weeks in Stockholm, Tallinn, and Helsinki.  There was a light snow at the end of my trip in Helsinki,  as I was staying  at the Scandic Grand Marina.  But, I missed most of the snow that followed, as I was forced by my wife to return home to Efrat — as she threatened — if I did not — to spend the rest of the winter in Eilat (she doesn’t really like snow, like I do).

I then traveled back to Stockholm, but it just rained, and then on to Vilnius, where I saw the home of the Vilna Gaon.  But, although I was promised snow by a native Lithuanian, it was just cold — and not snowy.

Then, about three to four weeks ago, my fellow “Israel Winter Weather” partner (Yaakov Cantor) told me: “if you can’t go next week to visit your parents (in Millwood, NY) then go the week of the 11th (this week).

And, so I found it — snow, and lots of it.   I didn’t just find it I enjoyed it!  When my mother complained that I wasn’t doing very much work, I told her that I was taking  what was (is?) called a “snow day.”   Since I am a weatherman, I felt it appropriate to spend  the day outside catching snowflakes, watching radar maps from the National Weather Service, and following the latest High Resolution Rapid Refresh Forecasts.

Fortunately, my parents live on a bit of a hill (at about 575 feet above sea-level) and away from the moderating warmer waters of the Hudson River. You can even say that the northern Westchester hills further influenced my desire to be a “weatherman,” as we often had interesting winter weather like ice storms or even unexpected snows while areas towards New York City just had rain.

Regardless, I found snow (and family) at the old homestead and I have to say that I can return to Israel with stories to tell, while sitting next to a roaring fire and drinking hot cocoa.

About the Author
Dr. Barry Lynn has a PhD in Environmental and Atmospheric Sciences. He has an undergraduate degree in Biology. He is a researcher/lecturer at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and is the CTO of Weather It Is, LTD, a weather forecasting and consulting company.
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