So I know that this is the third posting about the weather in a row, but seriously, the weather has been absolutely crazy here this week.
It started on Sunday with some rain and wind. The wind picked up over night, and the howling it produced was something right out of a horror movie. Monday and Tuesday brought more wind and downpours of rain. It was very heavy at times. The streets were like rivers and flooding became common throughout the country. Adam still went into work, but I stayed in and got some work done. I also crocheted a bunch and watched a few movies. I finally got the cozy rainy days that I wanted. It helps that we have finally mastered how to stay warm in a building that isn’t designed for it. The only time that it was a bit challenging was on Tuesday when our power went out. It was only for a few hours though, so it wasn’t anything that we couldn’t handle. After all, last year in Connecticut we lost power for about 9 days. We bundled up while at home. Adam eventually went to work for a meeting, and I hung out until I was supposed to babysit. The power literally came on a minute before I got a call that babysitting was cancelled. The parents got the kids using the car and didn’t want to make me come out in the yucky weather. After that phone call I turned the heater on and got cozy again. I was pretty productive too which was nice 🙂
Wednesday brought a little bit of everything. Rain, wind, sleet, snow, sun, and graupel. For those of you who don’t know, graupel is a form of precipitation. It really means granulated snow pellets and it is often referred to as soft hail. I have to admit that it was driving me nuts to hear everyone talking about how it was hailing. As a science teacher, I can’t help being bothered by an incorrect use of terminology. Hail is a warm weather phenomenon. I’m not saying that it can’t happen in the winter but it has to be warmer out and if it was snowing, the atmosphere was obviously cold. What we had was graupel, and it was very awesome!
Up until this point, we had just small snow showers mixed with sleet and graupel. Schools were let out early, just in case things got worse, but they didn’t really. It is hard to believe that school would be cancelled for a few snow showers, but this is Jerusalem. Snow happens so infrequently that cars and buses are not equipped with the right kind of tires for the snow. Plus, people don’t really know how to drive in the snow anyway, so it is better that everyone stays home. Adam heard that there is possibly only one snow plow in the country. It snows here, but when it does, the entire city shuts down.
The forecast wasn’t completely wrong however. The forecast said that the snow would begin in the afternoon and go through the night, probably stopping in the afternoon on Thursday (today). Last night, close to bedtime, we saw the first few flakes of snow fall that really indicated the coming of a large storm. After a good night’s rest, we were woken up by squeals of delight coming from the courtyard behind our building. Kids were outside playing in the snow since school was cancelled. The snow is coming down as heavy as it would back in Connecticut. There is already somewhere between 4 -5 inches on the ground. This is a legitimate snow day, even for Connecticut.
Before we even sat down to breakfast (which we are going to have now), we went outside to really experience the snow. It is really wet, so it is great packing snow. We made a few snowballs, and we got a chance to admire the awesome snowmen that the kids made this morning. We walked around to the street. Everything is covered including the palm and citrus fruit trees. You can see smiles on everyone’s faces at such an amazing site. We have seen snow like this a million times but we also couldn’t help smiling. After all, I thought we would have to go 2 years without seeing snow. Then I thought we were going to have to drive 3-4 hours to the Hermon to see it. Now it is right in our backyard, literally! While we were in the street, we watched a dog playing in the snow. You could see the pure joy in his face as he rolled around in it and ate it. It is always so amazing how nature can bring happiness to the world.
Now we are back inside, eating breakfast and getting ready for the day. Even though it is a snow day, Adam will have to get some work done. I have a few things to do as well, but we recognize that this is an amazing opportunity. We are going to walk to the Old City with our friend Naomi. Our friends the Rosensweigs wanted to come from Ra’anana to play in the snow but the roads are closed. Maybe they can come tomorrow.
I can’t say that the snow makes me more homesick than I have already been since there is a longing for home inside of me all the time. I am happy we are here for this though; not often do you get a chance to say that you were in Israel, and it was snowing. This weather awesomeness is just another once in a lifetime chance that goes along with this once in a lifetime Fulbright adventure. At least it might be a once in a lifetime experience; I’ve been told if it has snowed this early in the year, we probably will get more. Yay!
Until next time…