I stepped off the plane at Frankfurt this morning, and the cold hit me. I loved it. All around me, people wearing coats, scarves, gloves, hoods, and generally well wrapped up against the elements. My concession to the weather was to wear a vest. It was, however, dry.

I stepped off the plane at Edinburgh, later, and the rain hit me. Wet stuff. Everywhere. Magic! It hasn’t stopped. I am back at my hotel room, and it is still raining. Eventually, the novelty will wear off. Till then, I am enjoying it.

A real winter

Where is my canoe?

Where is my canoe?

Yesterday, there was a work event in Tel Aviv. To cut a long story short, instead of the hour long drive it should have taken me (in rush hour), I ended up being in the car for almost three hours. Fallen trees, flooded roads, and a wonky app all contributed.

First, the picture above shows the main Ayalon highway (motorway) through the center of Tel Aviv yesterday. That brown stuff is not strangely colored paving; it’s flood water… As you can imagine, with the main motorway blocked, chaos was guaranteed.

Second, as this Times of Israel story reports, the traffic app Waze suffered a major meltdown. It appeared not to recognize that the highway was closed, and sent drivers in its direction. I was using that app yesterday, but fortunately had been told about the closed highway. So, it did not directly affect me. However, the knock on consequences of many drivers trying to reach a place that was blocked, and then all trying to get out of there, added to the regular chaos.

I am delighted to say, despite the bad weather still continuing, the journey home was the usual length of time. Given the police had told people to stay away from the city, I suspect many did not turn up for work yesterday.

[Thanks to Lori for the picture.]

About that weather…

More rain on the way

More rain on the way

Following on from my earlier post about the winter weather we are experiencing, here’s an update from the Times of Israel:

Rain brings trains, cars to a halt

Stormy weather floods tracks; rescue crews remove vehicles from deep puddles

Flooded tracks brought train traffic between Tel Aviv and Haifa to a halt for a few hours on Sunday, as stuck automobiles caused traffic jams in many places across the country.

The weekend’s heavy rainfall caused flooding on the tracks near Netanya, forcing Israel Railways to stop trains from using the major northbound route.

The rail authority worked hard to pump the water out, enabling trains to return to work. Some delays were still expected, the rail company said, adding the station in Herzeliya was still closed.

Large puddles and overflowing drainage systems caused major traffic jams throughout the country. Vehicles stuck in Netanya, Herzeliya and Bat Yam forced the closure of some streets, and rescue crews towed the cars to dry land.

Some people had to be rescued from their cars as they were stranded in meter-deep waters.

The Israel Meteorological Service on Sunday forecast that, over the coming five days, the weather system would cause precipitation equal to the average rainfall for the entire month of January.

Weatherman Uri Batz said the storm was unusually intense — even for the height of winter.

I can feel your sympathy oozing over the internet…

Weather forecast

clouds in the desert


This is for friends and family who complain bitterly, regularly, and justifiably about the weather in the UK.  We do get bad weather in Israel too, you know. This is from the Jerusalem Post today:

Heavy rain fell from the North to the Negev overnight Saturday, with the stormy winter weather expected to continue on Sunday and throughout the week.

Forecasters expect the coming week to be one of the rainiest in recent memory with some 100 millimeters of rain expected in central Israel and as much as 250mm. expected to fall in the North.

Mount Hermon is also expected to see continued snowfall throughout the week. Melting snow from Mount Hermon and the Golan will add some 30 centimeters to Lake Kinneret, according to forecasts.The Israel Meteorological Service said that snow could fall in Jerusalem as well on Wednesday.

Authorities warned the public to prepare for winds up to 100 km/h on Sunday evening, especially in coastal areas. The[y] advised tying down or taking inside garden items that could be swept up in the wind.

The Israel Electric Company instructed the public to keep heating thermostats at 18 degrees Celsius to prevent causing power surges and electrical outages.

And if you truly want to feel sorry for us, we have had a a couple of nights of disturbed sleep due to the heavy thunder. See? It’s not all blue skies and warm weather!

A good week to one and all.

London calling

After a few days of pleasant and dry weather, I woke up this morning to the sound of rainfall. That heavy shower was accompanied by a couple more outbursts during the day, and there may be more on the way. Given the water situation here, this is good news.

But poor Britain – which does not, typically, have a water shortage – is suffering with real winter weather.


Winter beauty

Sister-in-law Sarah sent me the picture above, showing her parents’ back garden, deep in suburbia in London. Beautiful to look at, great to visit, but not so nice to live through. I hope better weather turns up soon there.

I’m singing and dancing in the rain

It’s January 31st and, so far, this has been the wettest winter in Israel for a long time. In Glasgow, some people moaned about the (seemingly) perpetual grey skies and wet weather. In Israel, they welcome the rain for the relief it brings to local water supplies. Quite a contrast. Fortunately, I can enjoy the rain – I love walking, cycling and playing football in the rain, but only two of the three options are available to me now – while it’s here, knowing that warm (or very hot) weather is on its way. Then people will complain about the heat… Aren’t we funny?