A dangerous winter storm is upon us.
Here are the highlights.
Wind: Strong winds today - gale winds or possibly storm force winds Thursday night into Friday evening.
Rain: Heavy rain beginning from mid-evening (along the coast) to mid-night (Jerusalem). Over about two days, 50 to 100 mm of rain will fall in the coastal plain eastward to the Jerusalem area and southward to Beer-Sheva. Rain rates tonight could be 10 to 25 mm per three hours, with locally higher amounts.
Visibility: The rain tonight will be especially strong and blowing rain in strong winds will make for very poor visibility.
Snow: Tonight in the Golan. Snow tomorrow in Safed (several centimetres). Snow and graupel will mix with the rain in the area of Gush Etzion tonight and become more likely Friday afternoon and evening. Rain and ice pellets (graupel) in the Jerusalem area tonight and rain/snow becoming mostly wet snow late afternoon and evening. There may be a light accumulation in Jerusalem on colder surfaces and a few centimeters of snow in Gush Etzion Friday afternoon and evening.
Dust: Dust storm in the south.
A strong winter storm will approach our area today, and last into Sunday morning. While temperatures are cold enough at 850 mb and 700 mb for snow late Thursday night (and especially Friday afternoon/evening), 500 mb temperatures are only marginal for strong convective storms during this period. Moreover, while temperatures are below freezing at 850 mb, they are not as cold as in last February's storm (where they were about 1.5 degrees colder at 850/700 mb and temperatures at 500 mb were 7 degrees Celsius colder. Hence, surface temperatures will most likely remain above freezing except at the highest elevations.
A reinforcing shot of cold air will arrive at upper levels Shabbat Afternoon/evening. This will be a few degrees colder than in the first part of our storm, and will have to be watched closely.
Otherwise, we've entered a significantly wetter pattern.