What a Sandstorm in Israel Looks Like

Obviously, I love the Middle East. The variety of cultures, the people, the food and the sights, to name a few. There is one thing I really dislike about being here, though. That is when the sandstorms hit.

Where I’m living now in Tiberias, Israel, I have a view of the Sea of Galilee and the Golan Heights. A beautiful, gorgeous, spectacular view. Usually. As of about 15 minutes ago, though, a sandstorm hit this region, whipping sand around in its high winds, making the air very unhealthy. And, importantly, greatly obscuring visibility by turning nice blue skies into thick brown.

My view from my apartment in Tiberias is usually this:

Sea of Galilee and the Golan Heights on a clear day in Tiberias, Israel

But right now, it is this:

Browned-out sky in Tiberias, Israel

Tiberias, which is in northern Israel, is a few hours away from the Negev, Israel’s desert. Although the sandstorm could have originated there, it more often comes from a larger desert area, like Egypt, Jordan or even Saudi Arabia or other Persian Gulf countries. Wherever the source, I’m hoping my least favorite weather won’t last more than a day.

6 Comments Post a Comment
  1. Gnarlodious says:

    Ho hum, I suppose this means we wll be accused of stealing their holy sand…

  2. Sabina says:

    What do you mean?

  3. See? A different view without even leaving the apartment :) I was hoping you’d post about it, and the two pictures put together sure do illustrate the difference. The up side is that you’re not just here for a day, missing the usually-great view.

    Also, these photos remind me of how the surrounding looked in some places in southern Argentina a few months after a volcano erupted across the border, in Chile. In one place (San Martin), everything looked fine in the morning, and then in the afternoon – it looked like photo #2 here. At least the sandstorm will pass faster than those volcanic ashes!
    Ayelet – All Colores recently posted..My Favorite Sights in Puerto Iguazu, Argentina (Besides the Falls)My Profile

  4. Sabina says:

    Oh, yes, a totally different view. It happened so suddenly and, fortunately, also went away suddenly. Today I’ve got my view of Galilee and Golan back :)

  5. Leigh says:

    I’ve seen photos of the great sandstorms that Phoenix, Arizona gets but for whatever reason – even though I appreciate the topography of Israel – I didn’t think you’d get sandstorms. They always seem a little scary to me.
    Leigh recently posted..Skiing to Skogan Pass from Ribbon Creek in Kananaskis CountryMy Profile

  6. Sabina says:

    Hi Leigh – I’ve learned that sandstorms can travel for hundreds of miles, which explains why Israel gets them, even though not all of it is desert and some of its neighboring countries are also not all desert. The reason I don’t like them is because they make the air unhealthy to breathe. I’ve never been in one where you can actually feel the sand whipping around. It’s just high wind and a LOT of brown.

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