Friday, February 17, 2012

Weather words in Israel - sand, rain, and snow

A couple of weeks ago, the weather was described as ovech (אובך). It was cloudy (מעונן) or partly cloudy (מעונן חלקי) and there was ovech. I looked the word up in the dictionary, and the translation was "mist." But it wasn't misty outside - instead the sky was cloudy and the air was not clear. It looked like fog, but it wasn't fog. I found out that ovech refers to sand particles hanging in the air and blocking visibility - in other words, a sandstorm, but in this case a rather gentle one.

This morning I got up, opened the shutters and looked outside - and behold (הנה), it's cloudy and there is also some ovech. In the southern part of the country there is, in fact, a sandstorm.

And now the whole country is preparing for two days when it is so'er (סוער) - stormy, gashum (גשום) - rainy, and qar (קר) - cold. On Mt. Hermon, in the far north, it is mushlag (מושלג) - snowy. (The word for snow is sheleg (שלג)). Since it's been snowing on Mt. Hermon, hordes of people have rushed up to see the snow and to ski.

The news this morning warned that tonight in Jerusalem it will get to 1˚ C - just a smidge above freezing, and that we should prepare and make sure our apartments are warm enough. Tomorrow in Jerusalem it may actually snow! And people are very excited and hope it will happen. Speaking as an Ithacan, I am not looking forward to snow, since one of the reasons I decided to spend my sabbatical in Israel was to avoid the cold and snow in Ithaca.

Stay tuned for updates...

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