Dec 02, 2021
JERUSALEM WEATHER

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As people huddle in their homes, hiding from the pandemic, hurricanes are brewing over the Atlantic and the next one may hit on Passover, bringing down a Biblical mixture of fire and ice. Presaging what experts predict will be an especially harsh hurricane season, the powerful storm brings a powerful message of Redemption for especially turbulent times.

The sun rises on a large storm sitting off of the U.S. East Coast on April 3, 2020. (NOAA / GOES-EAST)

A massive storm is brewing over the Western Atlantic Ocean, perhaps biding its time to build strength or perhaps the opposite. Experts are confused as the structure of the storm is a complex mixture of opposing elements. An unusual hybrid subtropical storm, the edges of the storm are currently battering New England with unseasonal freezing rain and snow but the interior of the storm is a warm tropical storm with severe lightning. The storm itself comes early, preceding the hurricane season which begins in two months. The storm is pounding the region with heavy surf and higher-than-average tides.

Coming as it does during the holiday of Passover, the storm, bearing fiery bolts of lightning intermingled with icy snow, is reminiscent of the Biblical seventh plague that appeared with its elemental opposite: fire.

The hail was very heavy—fire flashing in the midst of the hail—such as had not fallen on the land of Egypt since it had become a nation. Exodus 9:24

In fact, Jewish sources predict that all of the plagues will reappear in the final Redemption but in even more powerful forms. It is written in Midrash Tanchuma, homiletic teachings collected around the fifth century, that “just as God struck the Egyptians with 10 plagues, so too He will strike the enemies of the Jewish people at the time of the Redemption.”

The Israel Bible gives a poignant explanation of why the seventh plague, a combination of fire and ice, is appropriate for the turbulent times we live in.

“The hail contains both fire and ice, yet the fire does not melt the ice and the water of the ice does not extinguish the fire. They are able to exist in harmony for the purpose of fulfilling God’s will. Similarly, the medieval commentator Rashi comments (Gen. 1:8) that the Hebrew word for heaven, ‘shamayim,’ comes from the Hebrew words ‘aish’ (fire) and ‘mayim’ (water), as the two came together in harmony to make up the heavens. This serves as a powerful lesson of peace and is referenced in the daily Jewish prayer service. The following supplication appears multiple times in the liturgy: ‘He Who makes peace in His heights (between fire and water), may He make peace, upon us and upon all Israel.’”

Meteorologists are already predicting that this Atlantic hurricane season could include a greater-than-average number of major hurricanes. An average season , lasting from the beginning of June until the end of November, brings on 2.8 hurricanes. Forecasters from Colorado State University’s Tropical Meteorology Project, led by research scientist Phil Klotzbach, predicted that this season would bring on eight hurricanes including four major hurricanes category 3 and higher with winds of at least 111 miles per hour. That means that if you live on the East Coast, you have a 69% chance of being hit by a hurricane this season.

“Coastal residents are reminded that it only takes one hurricane making landfall to make it an active season for them, and they need to prepare the same for every season, regardless of how much activity is predicted,” the report warned.