Scorching heatwave to settle over Israel, with Jordan Valley temperatures to hit 46°C

Peak to come Thursday, with 33°C in Tel Aviv, 37°C in Jerusalem; electricity management company presents plan to avoid repeat of June blackouts

Michael Horovitz is a breaking news editor at The Times of Israel

The sun sets over the forest near Jerusalem on September 2, 2021. (Nati Shohat/Flash90)
The sun sets over the forest near Jerusalem on September 2, 2021. (Nati Shohat/Flash90)

Mediterranean countries are set for a heatwave this week, with Israel to sizzle under high temperatures from Wednesday at least until Sunday, according to meteorologists.

Israel will experience the peak of the hot front, named “Cleon,” on Thursday.

The Jordan Valley is predicted to feel the worst of the heat with temperatures expected to rise as high as 46°C (115°F), according to the Israel Meteorological Service.

The mercury is set to reach 33°C (91°F) in Tel Aviv, while Jerusalem will see temperatures hit 37°C (99°F).

High temperatures are expected across the region, particularly in Cyprus and Greece, where temperatures are expected to rise above 40°C (104°F) in some areas on Friday.

In a statement, the Israel Meteorological Service said lighting fires in nature parks and reserves will be prohibited due to the danger of sparking wildfires.

Short routes at the parks will be open for tourists with rest stops along the way, but the service noted that visitors should plan for some longer paths to be closed.

The Nature and Parks Authority said sites in the Judean Desert will be closed during the heatwave.

Representatives from the Noga electricity management firm presented a plant to the Energy Ministry on Sunday to avoid power outages during the heatwave, in order to avoid a repeat of rolling blackouts in early June when the country experienced sizzling heat.

Some 300,000 homes were without power during the peak of the blackouts.

Illustrative: The Ashkelon power plant, January 2009. (Moshe Shai/Flash90)

The frequency, intensity, and duration of heatwaves throughout the world, including in Israel, are on the rise amid climate change.

The World Meteorological Service said the beginning of July marked the hottest week ever recorded on the planet.

Sudden, intense temperature jumps are known to cause increased hospitalizations and deaths in vulnerable populations, particularly among the elderly.

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