Children cool off in a Jerusalem fountain 370 (R).
(photo credit:Ronen Zvulun / Reuters)
After a week of blistering heat, meteorologists expect thermometers to begin
returning on Friday to more seasonable numbers.
Through Thursday night,
severe heat stress persisted in most of the country, with temperatures reaching
the 40s-Celsius in Eilat and the high 30s in Jerusalem – and high humidity
drenching cities along the Mediterranean coast.
On Friday, there will be
considerable relief in the heat stress, but temperatures will remain
unseasonably warm, according to Israel Meteorological Services. On Saturday,
however, the meteorologists expect temperatures to return to seasonal
Such high temperatures in Israel are not considered “exceptional
events” when they occur for a string of two to three days, and such events occur
annually, according to the Israel Meteorological Services. But a heat wave that
lasts seven or eight days, as it did this time, is somewhat abnormal in certain
parts of the country, the IMS said in a report.
Some regions – such as
Jerusalem, Kfar Blum in the Galilee Panhandle, and Beersheba and other southern
locations – have not seen such a prolonged heat wave for more than 50 years, the
Meanwhile, for the second day in a row, peak demand
electricity set an all-time high on Thursday, reaching 11,920 megawatts at 2:10
p.m., the Israel Electric Corporation said. Maximum generation capacity for
Thursday stood at 12,500 megawatts with a 580-megawatt reserve.
of the day, the power level on the IEC’s website remained at a “yellow” level,
during which the IEC is working to stabilize electricity supply around the
country. By late afternoon, however, the levels had approached the more critical
“orange” stage, during which demand is becoming dangerously close to
On Wednesday, demand had also broken a record, reaching 11,680
megawatts, while production capacity stood at only 11,880 megawatts, with just a
The increased production capacity on Thursday came
as the Orot Rabin power plant in Hadera, which had been out of service for about
a week, once again became operational on Wednesday night, adding 575 megawatts
to the IECs generation capacity.
“It must be noted that the public’s
response in refraining from using appliances during peak hours was essential and
significant,” said IEC’s CEO, Eli Glickman. “We believe that the lowered demand
reduced the electricity demand yesterday by 300 to 350 megawatts.”
cooler temperatures expected this weekend, the IEC said that the burden on the
electricity supplies will be eased, especially with the return to operation of
the Hadera power plant.
“After several difficult days, the public
deserves a medal for saving the electricity sector [on Wednesday] and [Thursday]
about 300 to 350 megawatts each day,” Glickman said.
He stressed the
importance of transparency and open communication with the public, encouraging
people to make use of the IEC’s new Facebook page, as well as media messages now
translated into English, Arabic and Russian.
“Summer is not over and I
call upon the public to continue to cooperate with us,” Glickman said.
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