Wednesday, February 3, 2010

When it comes to snow, I’m pretty hard to impress.

To me – growing up on the North Dakota prairie – a “snowstorm” means blinding snow, driving winds and below-freezing temperatures. It means 10’ high snow banks banked against the side of the house, high enough to block the windows. It means not being able to leave the house because snow drifts block the car inside the garage. It means shoveling many feet of the stuff off the porch until you can open the front door.

A proper snowstorm should result in something like this:

But all that said, a snowstorm -- Israeli version – is predicted for today, or more properly last night and today. I will say this – the rain has been impressive. It rained pretty constantly all night last night, which was a total delight. It was so lovely, peaceful and restful I slept almost six hours, two hours longer than my norm. Such a deal!

We all loved the rain -- even my roommates slept soundly all night. Rachel, the mostly-Poodle, usually feels compelled to bark at the feral cats who normally run and play (not to mention mate) on the roof during the night, but with the steady rain, there were no cats to distract her. Molly Goldberg, the mostly-Border Collie, didn’t even stir when I finally got up. If Molly had thumbs, she’d still be in bed, reading a book.

The real fun is supposed to start today. Sometime this morning, some weather reports say, the rain will turn to snow – even here in the “northern Negev.” But as I say, when snow is concerned, I’m hard to impress.

The Jerusalem Post this morning features a video – you can watch it here, on the “JPost Video” . It's almost funny.

They show this enormous bulldozer scraping up about an inch of snow from the roadway, paired with an interview with some official who’s talking about all the precautions the city is taking. Schools will close, as will many businesses. It makes me giggle – a few swipes with a broom would have handled that snow as well as a bulldozer, but then, they didn’t ask me…...

Still, as I recall from my California days, snow in places like California or Israel is much more dangerous than it is in places like North Dakota. Not because of the snow itself, but because hardly anyone who decides to go out and drive in it knows how. Then too, Jerusalem is seriously hilly – driving on those hills when they’re wet or slippery, let alone snowy, is indeed something to be concerned about. The thing to worry about is other people – not so much the snow itself.

Here in Beersheba, the weather forecast for today says our incipient snowstorm “will be preceded by a sandstorm.” That sounds like fun. I have to admit, though, even as I write this, the wind is picking up – could be we’re in for a blast.

I have a little trouble imagining sandstorms after all this rain, but maybe someone who’s lived here longer than I have can chime in. Can you really have a sandstorm mixed with torrential rain?

The storms are predicted to continue through Shabbat, Saturday. Fine with me – “He who causes the wind to blow and the rain to fall” should be blessed.


  1. Just checked the Israel Meteorological Service - here in Beersheva we have received (Thank You, G-d) 86% of the rainfall expected for this period, and 53% of our annual rainfall - for a total of 109 cm. - BEFORE this latest wonderful storm. Let it rain, let it rain.
    No, Virginia, you can't have a sandstorm while it's raining, but perhaps afterwards. As soon as it stops, the neighbors send their sand our way...but this isn't a political post.
    Have a nice, cozy rainy day, and keep praying!

  2. You, too -- I'm making chicken soup. I hadn't planned on it, but suddenly that sounds awfully good.

    Keep warm --