ISRAEL AT WAR - DAY 149

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Jerusalem bakes in hottest day since record-keeping began in 1942

High of 42º C (107º F) notched in capital Thursday afternoon, marking highest-ever known temperature; Friday may be hotter

  • An Orthodox Jewish talmudic seminary student wearing protectives suit, gloves, face mask and a face shield prays at the Western Wall in the Old City of Jerusalem, September 3, 2020. (Olivier Fitoussil/Flash90)
    An Orthodox Jewish talmudic seminary student wearing protectives suit, gloves, face mask and a face shield prays at the Western Wall in the Old City of Jerusalem, September 3, 2020. (Olivier Fitoussil/Flash90)
  • People enjoy a hot summer day at the Ein Lavan Spring in the Jerusalem Mountains, August 30, 2020. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
    People enjoy a hot summer day at the Ein Lavan Spring in the Jerusalem Mountains, August 30, 2020. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
  • Illustrative: Israeli children enjoy the splash fountain at Teddy Park in Jerusalem (Hadas Parush/Flash90)
    Illustrative: Israeli children enjoy the splash fountain at Teddy Park in Jerusalem (Hadas Parush/Flash90)

An oppressive heat wave that settled over Israel Thursday saw Jerusalem sweating under its hottest-ever temperatures, melting the capital at a sweltering 42º C (107º F).

The temperature was recorded at Jerusalem’s central weather station at 2:50 p.m., according to the Israel Meteorological Service, smashing the previous record of 41º C (105.8º F) set on August 20, 2010.

Jerusalem’s temperatures were still fairly breezy compared to 47º C (116.6º F) and 45º C (113º F) recorded in the upper Galilee and Jordan Valley respectively.

Still the heat wave is unprecedented for the capital, which usually enjoys slightly cooler weather than the rest of the country thanks to its location and relatively high altitude at some 800 meters (2,600 feet) above sea level.

Aside from 2010, the only other time since record-keeping began in 1942 that temperatures in Jerusalem reached above 39º C (102.2º F) was on Sunday, when a temperature of 39.6º C (103.3 F) was notched.

People enjoy a hot summer day at the Ein Lavan Spring in the Jerusalem Mountains, August 30, 2020. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

There may be more record-breaking temperatures on the way. The mercury in Jerusalem is predicted to reach 42º C or slightly higher on Friday afternoon, before dropping to a brisk 39º C on Saturday, according to the Yerushamayim weather forecasting website.

Much of the rest of the country will also continue to swelter under the heat wave, which is expected to taper off slightly next week before returning with a vengeance on Thursday, when temperatures will again reach the uppers 30s Celsius in Jerusalem, and higher elsewhere.

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