Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Meteorologists be damned! Weather report from B7 and the surrounding area, by blogger of the month Amanda Norwich

 What do people talk about when they have nothing to talk about? The weather! On the contrary, we in Beersheva and probably most of Israel, have lots to talk about. But the weather has been especially exciting lately. It started with a progressively worsening sandstorm on Tuesday, which moved into two straight days of rain. Now, less than a week later, it's 50+ degrees and sunny. If I didn't know better I'd think the country was having an episode of bipolar mania. To top it all off there was a whopping 2-3 inches of snow in Jerusalem on Friday! Coming from New Jersey I don't think that qualifies as a real snowfall, considering last winter the snow reached a cumulative height that seemingly dwarfed my house. But for Jerusalem it's a big deal! Driving up the windy roads of the mountain-top city was difficult and when I got into the center of town, I made it just in time to find out public transport in the city had come to a standstill. Despite the morning's unwelcoming weather, it changed rapidly for the better and became a sunny beautiful day. All the snow had melted by the time I left in the afternoon and the huge soft flakes seemed like just a dream.

Then that very night back in Beer sheva it poured like I have never seen before, flooding the streets and soaking every piece of desert. The main street in town, Rehov Rager, turned into a veritable river that we had to cross as we braved the elements to visit a friend for Shabbat dinner. The delicious homemade falafel (thanks to super-chef Adie) was a great motivator, but my little legs could only carry me so fast and by the time we got there I think we were all pretty well acquainted with what it feels like to have water in your shoes. Needless to say, we took a cab home.

Before and after of the sandstorm
And I almost forgot about the sandstorm last Wednesday! There's a great before/after picture circulating on facebook that I took the liberty of sharing with everyone here. Again, it's amazing how quickly things change. One minute we were walking to school with the sun in our eyes, windows open, mouths agape talking to one another. A few hours later my jacket was fastened tight over the lower half of my face, the windows were all boarded up and I was trying not to get carried away by the wind. It's hard to believe that was only a week ago as I sit here in my room with the window wide open and listen to the birds enjoying the sunshine. So I guess the moral of the story this week, if we can garner anything from Mother Nature's example, is don't take anything for granted. What may be true today won't necessarily be the case tomorrow and things change around here at the drop of the hat. I guess that's part of the fun of living in Israel. It keeps you on your toes and I wouldn't have it any other way.
- Amanda Norwich, February blogger of the month