Snow responsibly: Extreme Weather Guide for Israelis 2015

It’s (become) the most wonderful time of the year: snow in Israel! Going strong three years in a row (thanks, climate oddities). Predictions are that the coming snowstorm this Wednesday will be pretty intense, though possibly less than last year.

So, yeah, my kids totally think ‘mageya la’hem’ snow. Can’t blame them.

Nothing makes me prouder of my North American origins than an Israeli snow day. Finally, finally, I know what the fuck I’m on about.

Leggings under your outer pants? Amateur hour.

Two pairs of gloves – thin clothy kind under, bulky thinsulate kind over? Of course.

Plastic bags over your socks, rubber bands around your ankles? Obviously.

Digging out your beach boogie board for sledding? That’s just survival of the fittest.

Happen to own a pair of snow-protective Merrells because I liked them and they were on sale in New York in March and I’ve worn them inappropriately for four years in the Middle East but now I’m forever prepared with dry warm feet? Extra credit.

Here are a few more Israel-specific tips we learned from last year:

  • Now – like, right now – turn on your yunkers (centrally-heated radiators), if you have them, even on low… it will warm your home enough that you will definitely feel a difference if (when) the power goes out.
  • Keep your cell phone charging whenever you have power for the times that you won’t. Note, 3G will probably go too.
  • Similarly, keep your laptop charged so you can use it as a backup charging station for your phone.
  • Close your trisim (hard window shades), at least overnight, to keep warmth in.
  • Prep alternative methods of cooking – if you don’t have a gas stove, consider getting a gaziya/prepping yours with a full gas balloon. One reason, really: coffee.

What other things you need to have on hand, in order of importance:

  • Milk
  • Chocolate
  • Milk
  • Gloves, boots, hats
  • Plastic bags and rubber bands
  • Flashlights, batteries
  • Candles, matches
  • Fun neighbors
  • Entertainment
  • BAKING SUPPLIES. That should have been after milk. (Sorry, neighbors).

What you need to NOT DO AT ALL COSTS:

  • Pour boiling water (or water of any kind) on the ice in your driveway/street/shared outdoor spaces.
  • I will repeat that: DO NOT POUR WATER ON ICE TO MELT IT.
  • Do. Not. Pour. Hot. Water. On. Ice. To. Melt. It.

Enjoy it! We’re pumped. Have fun. Share your pics. Rub it in your Tel Aviv friends’ faces.

And remember, neighbors: snow responsibly.

Snow in Tzur Hadassah: Who said this isn’t Switzerland? [PHOTOS]

There’s this inside joke here… sometime a couple years ago they started hanging hopeful signs around garbage points in Tzur Hadassah: If no one made it dirty, this could be like Switzerland. 

After four days of heavy snow, warm clothes, sledding, and beautiful views… Well, I’d have to say we came pretty freakin close for the Middle East.

[More photos from day 1-3 here]

The view from my ‘front yard’ – only last week it was cleared of the forest to make way for new construction (sigh). So it allowed a whole new snow-filled view:

Soon I found the Yetti…

A long long time ago… in another life… I got a free giant boogie board at a tech conference (?!). Never touched it… until now.

The whole view… The hills are Gush Etzion, facing Neve Daniel area. The buildings are Beitar Illit. The snow is ours. (Click to enlarge)

The supermarket was rightfully bare this morning. And then the Tnuva truck pulled up. Never was so excited to see a Tnuva truck…

Later we went out and surveyed some local damage – seems every other tree took a toll. Our garbage collection area collapsed. And… so did our building, actually.

Another new view… sun setting and moon rising over the outlook towards Beitar Illit. (Click to enlarge)

Climbed up the nature walk to check out, in Koala’s words, the ‘sun rainbow.’

 Hang in there, Tzur Hadassah, European snow resort town. (Click to enlarge)

UPDATED:

Day 5, morning: Nope, it’s not all a dream.

 

Wishing the snowman farewell…

More photos!