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Intense heatwave blanketing Israel to peak over weekend

Meteorological service warns of extreme heat in most of the country before temperatures begin dropping at start of next week

Illustrative: Israelis at the beach in Tel Aviv, on a hot summer day, July 6, 2021. (Miriam Alster/Flash90)
Illustrative: Israelis at the beach in Tel Aviv, on a hot summer day, July 6, 2021. (Miriam Alster/Flash90)

A heatwave blanketing Israel was set to extend through the weekend before beginning to ease at the start of next week.

The Israel Meteorological Survey warned of extreme heat in most parts of the country Friday, with temperatures to hit highs of 39°C (102°F) in Beersheba and Tiberias, 35°C (95°F) in Tel Aviv, 32°C (90°F) in Haifa, and 43°C (106°F) in Eilat.

Temperatures were expected to drop slightly on Saturday, though the IMS warned the extreme heat was likely to remain.

“This is an intense and long heat wave but we’ll only know how unusual it is in its duration when its over. We still haven’t seen a breaking of [temperature] records but it goes and goes,” IMS meteorologist Shay Frenkel told the Walla news site.

The mercury was expected to further drop on Sunday though temperatures were forecast to remain above seasonal averages well into next week.

Read more: Relentlessly hotter: Sizzling heat increasingly the norm in Israel, data shows

Amid the heatwave, the Health Ministry urged Israelis, particularly the elderly and those with chronic conditions, to avoid excessive sun exposure and to drink large amounts of water.

Its health advisory also noted that face masks to protect against COVID-19 are not required outdoors.

The Israel Nature and Parks Authority called on Israelis to avoid lengthy hikes starting Sunday for 10 days, citing the dangerously hot weather.

It also underlined the ban on lighting fires in national parks.

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