Windy and Wet
The English word winter originated from an old Anglo-Saxon word which meant windy and wet. Winter, and the other seasons, are the result of the earth being inclined approximately 23½ degrees to the plane of its orbit around the sun. On December 21 the most direct rays of the sun are over the so-called Tropic of Capricorn at 23½ degrees latitude in the southern hemisphere, thereby causing winter in the northern hemisphere, while on June 21 the most direct rays of the sun are over the so-called Tropic of Cancer at 23½ degrees latitude in the northern hemisphere, thereby causing winter in the southern hemisphere.
Winter weather varies tremendously around the world, and the land of Israel itself has a surprising variety of climatic regions, but from the standpoint of Jerusalem, the meaning of that old Anglo-Saxon word for winter, windy and wet, applies generally well. The December to January daily high for Jerusalem averages 55 degrees Fahrenheit / 13 degrees Celsius, and the daily low averages 43 degrees Fahrenheit / 6 degrees Celsius. Most of Jerusalem's rainfall occurs from November to March, with the peak period from the last half of December to the end of February. Snow, although not a common sight in Jerusalem, can occur.
Winter In The Bible
"Thine is the day, Thine also the night; Thou hast established the luminaries and the sun. Thou hast fixed all the bounds of the earth; Thou hast made summer and winter." (Psalm 74:16-17 RSV) (see also The Seven Days Of Creation and The First Scientist)
"Then Noah [see The Flood] built an altar to The Lord, and took of every clean animal and of every clean bird, and offered burnt offerings on the altar [see Ancient Altars]. And when The Lord smelled the pleasing odor, The Lord said in His heart, "I will never again curse the ground because of man, for the imagination of man's heart is evil from his youth; neither will I ever again destroy every living creature as I have done. While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night, shall not cease." (Genesis 8:20-22 RSV)
"for lo, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone" (Song of Solomon 2:11 RSV)
"On that day living waters shall flow out from Jerusalem, half of them to the eastern sea and half of them to the western sea; it shall continue in summer as in winter." (Zechariah 14:8 RSV) (see New Life For The Dead Sea)
"Pray that your flight may not be in winter or on a Sabbath. For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been from the beginning of the world until now, no, and never will be [see Never Before, Never Again]. And if those days had not been shortened, no human being would be saved; but for the sake of The Elect those days will be shortened." (Matthew 24:20-22 RSV) (see Prophecy)
"It was the feast of the Dedication [i.e. Hanukkah] at Jerusalem; it was winter, and Jesus was walking in the Temple [see "My Father's House"], in the portico of Solomon." (John 10:22-23 RSV)
Fact Finder: Did Paul's shipwreck occur due to stormy winter weather?
See also Paul's Journey To Rome