Friday morning I looked out the hotel window on the Sea of Galilee. First I noticed that it was clear — something for which I had been wishing. I also noticed that there were uncommonly high waves on the lake. The palm fronds were moving with the wind. By the time I made the photo below, as the sun was rising over the eastern hills, the waves were not at high. This photo may illustrate what I am talking about.
The next photo was made about noon from the same spot as the one at 6 a.m. At this time the sea is calm and fairly clear. Many who have taken a boat ride across the Sea of Galilee can attest to the calmness and quietness of the water.
I was able to make a short video of the sea when the waves were higher and the wind was strong. Notice the sea gulls; you can even hear their call.
If there is any problem with the video, you should be able to go directly to it on YouTube here.
What is the explanation for such sudden storms on the sea? Notice the account given by Luke.
22 One day he got into a boat with his disciples, and he said to them, “Let us go across to the other side of the lake.” So they set out, 23 and as they sailed he fell asleep. And a windstorm came down on the lake, and they were filling with water and were in danger. 24 And they went and woke him, saying, “Master, Master, we are perishing!” And he awoke and rebuked the wind and the raging waves, and they ceased, and there was a calm. 25 He said to them, “Where is your faith?” And they were afraid, and they marveled, saying to one another, “Who then is this, that he commands even winds and water, and they obey him?” (Luke 8:22-25 ESV)
Luke explains in verse 23 that “a windstorm came down on the lake.” Such storms are produced by winds from the west and northwest that come down into the basin where the Sea of Galilee is located. These storms often occur in the late afternoon when the cooler air comes down on the hot air in the basin.
Before we left the hotel we said something to one of the owners about the morning storm. He said, “It was only a little storm; not a big one.” I am sure that is correct, but it does illustrate how these storms happen.