‘Serious to extreme’: Israel to be hit by heatwave with high humidity in coming days

Israel Meteorological Service warns of ‘serious to extreme heatwaves in most parts of the country’ as the week goes on

Visitors to the beach in Ashkelon, on July 20, 2022 (Gershon Elinson/Flash90)
Visitors to the beach in Ashkelon, on July 20, 2022 (Gershon Elinson/Flash90)

Temperatures will start gradually rising on Sunday, the Israel Meteorological Service said, as the country braces for a heatwave later this week.

Sunday will see partially cloudy weather as temperatures remain close to average in most areas of the country, but they will slowly begin to rise in the coming days and continue to do so as the week goes on.

Monday will see higher temperatures throughout the country, and meteorologists say people should expect “serious to extreme heatwaves in most parts of the country” on Tuesday through Thursday.

The report also warned of high levels of humidity along the country’s coastline throughout the week.

Sunday’s temperatures are forecast to hit 29°C (84.2°F) in Tel Aviv, 30°C (86°F) in Jerusalem, 28°C (82.4°F) in Haifa, 33°C (91.4°F) in Kiryat Shmona, 35°C (95°F) in Beersheba and 39°C (102.2°F) in Eilat, the IMS said.

On Thursday, temperatures are expected to hit 31°C (87.8°F) in Tel Aviv, 34°C (93.2°F) in Jerusalem, 29°C (84.2°F) in Haifa, 37°C (98.6°F) in Kiryat Shmona, 38°C (100.4°F) in Beersheba and 41°C (102.2°F) in Eilat, according to the IMS.

The temperature rise will be accompanied by high levels of humidity, meaning that it will feel far hotter and could pose a health risk to some.

Israel has so far experienced relatively average summer temperatures this year until now.

Illustrative — People swim at the Gordon Pool, by the beach in Tel Aviv on February 21, 2021 (Flash90)

Meanwhile, Europe has sweltered through a heatwave that 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.

In the United States, a fast-moving brush fire near Yosemite National Park exploded in size Saturday into one of California’s largest wildfires of the year, prompting evacuation orders for thousands of people and shutting off power to more than 2,000 homes and businesses.

Firefighters work to keep the Oak Fire from reaching a home in the Jerseydale community of Mariposa County, California, on July 23, 2022. (AP Photo/Noah Berger)

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

According to a recent report by the Haaretz newspaper, 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 some parts of the country.

By 2060, the average 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), according to current estimates.

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).

The IMS has also warned that Israel will have 8-13 fewer days of rainfall in the coming years, according to a report by Channel 12.

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).

Agencies contributed to this report.

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