As Europe swelters, Israeli heat to ease slightly in coming days — but future bleak

While this year’s summer not out of ordinary, experts warn Israel to witness more intense summers and drop in average rainfall by middle of century, as global temperatures rise

Israelis enjoy the beach in Tel Aviv, September 22, 2021 (Miriam Alster/FLASH90)
Israelis enjoy the beach in Tel Aviv, September 22, 2021 (Miriam Alster/FLASH90)

Temperatures are set to ease over the next few days in Israel, before shooting back up over the weekend, according to meteorologists’ predictions on Wednesday.

Temperatures hit 32°C (89.6°F) in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem by 3 p.m. on Wednesday according to the Israel Meteorological Service, while Beersheba in the country’s south reached 36°C (96.8°F). In the north, the weather was cooler, with Haifa recording a high of 29°C (84.2°F).

The mercury was set to drop by 1-2°C across the country before the weekend, with Beersheba expected to hit 34°C (93.2°F) Thursday, while temperatures in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem were expected to dip below 30°C (86°F).

But temperatures were set to rise again over the weekend leading into next week, according to forecasts.

Israel is experiencing a relatively average summer, as Europe swelters through a heatwave that has sparked fires in the continent’s south, and caused the mercury to rise above 40°C (104°F) in the United Kingdom for the first time on record.

Climate scientists have warned that such extreme weather events will become more frequent due to global warming.

Nir Stav, Director-General of the Israeli Meteorological Service. (Courtesy)

The IMS is predicting that the country will suffer heatwaves lasting 7-10 days starting from 2030, with temperatures reaching 50°C (122°F) in certain parts of the country, according to their assessment revealed by the Haaretz daily on Tuesday.

By 2060, the number of annual heatwaves will rise from its current four to six, with the average summer temperature jumping from 33.5°C (92.3°F) to 35°C (95°F), Channel 12 news reported.

“If in the past, the chance of exceeding 50 degrees was once in 100 years, it’s nearly certain that in the current climate, the probability is already once in 10,” Nir Stav, director of the government body said according to Haaretz.

Daily highs during heatwaves will reach the mid-40s and sometimes 50°C (122°F) in the Jordan Valley in the country’s north by 2050, while the Negev in Israel’s south will also experience days reaching 40°C (104°F) to 45°C (113°F), Haaretz reported.

Jerusalem may also be scorched by temperatures in the low 40s Celsius, according to the report.

Nights will provide less relief in the coming years, with the service predicting that daily lows of more than 20°C (68°F) will occur 75 times per year by 2050, up from the current 63, the daily revealed.

Extreme heat is not the only problem Israelis will face. The IMS modeled that Israel will have between 8-13 fewer days of rainfall in the coming years, Channel 12 reported.

Israel experienced its hottest day in history on September 4, 2020, with temperatures in the southern coastal resort city of Eilat recorded at an unprecedented 48.9°C (120°F) high.

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