Intense low pressure located over northern Syria and Turkey has brought a stormy end to our rainy weather. This is the same storm that brought us very strong winds and heavy rain. Here in Efrat, the winds gusted to 70 km/h last night and then again today as the storm moved away, but intensified.
The strong circulation around the storm also scooped up moisture off the sea leading to dense fog, especially in mountainous areas. There was also dust over the south, and even a few rain showers. All in all, the weather was simply unpleasant.
Still, we're thankful for the rain, and the clouds that hid our airplanes from view last night from Gazan anti-aircraft "crews." We're also thankful for the rain for simply raining (again)-- as many areas are just below or just above normal for the year.
Looking into the coming week, the winds should subside and temperatures should moderate. It looks like strong southwesterly flow will then bring moisture at the upper levels, which will then bring rain again as the next storm approaches late this week and winds switch into the west moistening the lower levels of the atmosphere. In fact, it may be rainy until the end of the month.
Right now, the forecast temperatures as we move into the last week of the month are showing a large range of possibilities on the Global Ensemble Forecast. Some are drier and warmer, while some are in between and wet. A few are even chilly or even cold.
I was a bit surprised to come across a transcript of a recent conversation between two folks who spend too much of their time telling us the weather. I bring it to your attention because it verifies something I've always feared, but never believed. Read carefully (note: V1 is the first voice in the transcript).
V1: "Hi. Any good news?"
V2: "As of now blocking up north isn't in our favor."
V2: "The AO [editor's note: Artic Oscillation] and NAO [editor's note: North Atlantic Oscillation] are also forecast to not be in our favor."
[Editors note: The AO and NAO are indices that measure variations in surface pressure patterns, and their positive or negative values indicate weather the global weather pattern will be zonal (west to east) or meridional (wavy). Ironically, a large positive NAO could induce cold weather here because other factors can then come into play to bring us snow: for details, see the blog at Jerusalem Weather on this (https://m.facebook.com/notes/
V2: "It all depends on position of the blocking ridge over Europe, and this is notoriously hard to forecast."
V1: "So, where is the block now?"
V2: "Very far north over Scandinavia and forecast to go westward towards Greenland." [Editor's note: this type of pattern tends to bring warm air into the eastern Mediterranean as southerly winds develop eastward of the blocking ridge and accompanying trough over Europe.]
V1: "Maybe now that you know [what's forecast] it will move eastward, bring us cold weather???"
V2: "Haha. If I had such power to make what I know happen... There would be 10 feet of snow in Jerusalem."
[Editor's note: V1 calls V2 on this, and the truth comes out -- pay attention.]
V1: "We'd be weathermen!"
[Editor's note: the proof follows:]
V1: "You had a baby, and cancelled the snow that Friday, so you and family could get about for the Brit."
V2: "Yah, That guy was left holding the [wet] bag"
[Editor's note: there you have it. You might remember that one intrepid meteorologist called, unexpectedly, for a quickly accumulating snow. Little did he know the nefarious working of the weather-cabal.]