“And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flocks by night.”
~ King James Bible- Luke 2:8
Christmas cards and music often suggest Joseph and Mary traveling through the wintry snow. With miraculous birth imminent, a donkey carried Mary into Bethlehem. As the weary couple finally reached their destination – a humble stable –snowflakes were falling gently in the night. Sounds beautiful … Weather conditions as such would certainly prohibit the shepherds’ viewing of “the star.” And what about the Wise Men approaching from the east without the starlight beckoning and shedding light on their path? Two thousand years has not diminished the significance of this holy night. Yes, the “stars were brightly shining!”
“Mideast Storm Dumps Snow on Jerusalem and Bethlehem”
TEL AVIV, Israel – December 14, 2013: Over a foot of snow blanketed the Middle East last weekend. Power was out in 60,000 homes across Israel. Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon mobilized soldiers to rescue stranded motorists due to snow-blocked roads. In spite of it being the Jewish Sabbath, Israel Radio announced public transit would continue running to assist travelers leaving the hilltop city of Jerusalem. Freezing temperatures and snow are extremely rare in this part of the world.
Most historians agree that the first Christmas most likely took place during the summer. Good news for wise men and shepherds alike as they followed the star and watched their flocks. Even stable accommodations were more comfortable during the summer … truly fit for a king.
Today, while Bethlehem lies buried beneath snow, we have enjoyed summer-like weather. Temperatures reached well into the 80s. Momentarily visions of waves crashing along the shore have replaced ones of Christmas. Hmmm… shall it be the mall or the beach? Temperatures are due to drop 20 degrees, answering the question is answered I think.
The Crescenta Valley, California – 2013 Christmastime Weather
An early weather gift arrives to finish our week – a cut-off low. A little generosity would be appreciated, rain-wise. A prayer or word with Santa may be indicated!
On Christmas Day, clear skies and warmer temperatures are predicted. I imagine these to be the same conditions the little town of Bethlehem experienced 2,000 years ago – real Christmas weather.
Sue Kilpatrick is a
Crescenta Valley resident and
Official Skywarn Spotter for the
National Weather Service. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.