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‘Heavy to extreme’ heatwave to settle across Israel starting Thursday

Temperatures across the country expected to dip only next week

Israelis enjoy the beach in Tel Aviv on a hot summer day. June 29, 2021. (Miriam Alster/FLASH90)
Israelis enjoy the beach in Tel Aviv on a hot summer day. June 29, 2021. (Miriam Alster/FLASH90)

Yet another heatwave is set to settle across Israel over the weekend with temperatures remaining slightly higher than the seasonal average in most areas across the country over the next few days.

“Heavy to extreme heat” will prevail in most regions, according to a forecast by the Israel Meteorological Service, and it will be drier than usual, especially in the mountains and inland.

Temperatures in Jerusalem were expected to reach highs of 32° Celsius (89.6°F) on Thursday and through Saturday, while the forecast for Tel Aviv was 31° Celsius (87.8°F) and Haifa was expected to see highs of 28° Celsius (82.4°F).

Eilat will be scorching with highs of 41°C (105.8°F) over the next week, while the southern city of Beersheba will reach highs of 35°C (95°F) and Tiberias tops the charts with a high of 44°C (111.2°F) on Friday, according to the meteorological service. The areas around the Dead Sea are also expected to be sizzling, with Ein Gedi temperatures at 37-40°C (98.6°-104°F)

Temperatures across the country are expected to drop slightly starting next week, but it remained unclear when the heatwave would end.

Earlier this month Israel saw a serious, prolonged heatwave across the country, with temperatures topping 35°C (95°F) in many areas and hitting highs of 39°C (102°F) in Beersheba and Tiberias, and 43°C (106°F) in Eilat.

At the height of the heatwave, the Health Ministry urged Israelis, particularly the elderly and those with chronic conditions, to avoid excessive sun exposure and to drink large quantities of water. Its health advisory also noted that face masks to protect against COVID-19 were not required outdoors.

Israelis at the beach in Tel Aviv, June 29, 2021. (Miriam Alster/FLASH90)

That heatwave, characterized “by low humidity during the day in the lowlands and the interior part of the coastal plain for about 6 to 7 consecutive days, is an unprecedented event for the summer season,” the meteorological service said.

Last week, firefighters battled a massive forest fire near Jerusalem for 52 hours, exacerbated by the weather conditions.

A forest outside Jerusalem smokes as a wildfire spreads toward the city’s southern outskirts, August 16, 2021. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Israel, like much of the world, has been experiencing more days with higher temperatures and scorchers are becoming the norm.

July 2021 was the hottest month globally ever recorded, according to a US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) report, in the latest data to underline the growing climate crisis.

A landmark UN climate science report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in early August issued a stark “code red for humanity,” saying the world is on course to reach 1.5°C of warming around 2030.

The 3,000-plus-page report from 234 scientists said warming is already accelerating sea-level rise, shrinking ice and worsening extremes such as heatwaves, droughts, floods and storms. Tropical cyclones are getting stronger and wetter, while Arctic Sea ice is dwindling in the summer and permafrost is thawing. All of these trends will get worse, the report said.

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