Header Photo Credit

*The stunning photo in the header of my blog is all thanks to Ron Shoshani. Visit his facebook page for more of his amazing photographs of Tel Aviv!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

My Sinuses Can Predict Israeli Heat Waves (Hamsin)

Yes, it's true. My sinuses have magical powers.

I realized this last night when I woke up in a sudden sneezing fit that involved runny nose-ness and a strange sensation that I may not ever be the same again.

After I finally sneezed myself silly and collapsed back into sleep after exhausting my nose muscles (do I even have nose muscles?)  I woke up, showered, and decided it was up to me to figure out who or what the culprit was.

Only after I opened my living room window to breathe in the humid, dust-filled, gloomy gray air did I put two and two together.

Hamsin.  The Israeli hamsin (which comes from the Arabic word khamsīn) is characterized by what looks like a dark cloud of sand hanging over the sky, trapping in heat and humidity and making everyone living beneath it uncomfortable. In Tel Aviv they are the wooooorrrrrrrst.

Photo Credit: Baba Yagada

Its totally gross and only escapable if you have full-blast high-power air-conditioning. (which, of course, I don't being semi-poor and more-than-somewhat concerned with the environment.)

The painting above is an spot-on representation of a typical day in a Tel Aviv Hamsin full of hot sand-filled winds.

So, weathermen, if you are looking for a young, hard-working professional who can help you predict the hottest and most grueling Hamsins, I'm your gal.


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