Hazy weather conditions disturbed air traffic and filled the environment with high air pollution levels for the second day in a row on Monday.

Although Ben-Gurion Airport was operating normally, the Sde Dov, Eilat and Haifa airports were closed down during the day due to the inclement weather. At the same time, the Environmental Protection Ministry warned of continued high air pollution levels as a result of dust storms, with air quality monitoring stations showing respirable particle concentrations three to four times greater than their norm.

The air pollution and accompanying inclement weather conditions are the result of a depression over the Eastern Mediterranean Sea, which has been causing heavy winds, sandstorms and dust transfers from the North African region to Israel, the ministry explained. The ministry therefore recommended that heart and lung patients, the elderly, children and pregnant women remain inside until at least 12 noon on Monday.

Israel Meteorological Services forecasted that the haze would gradually subside by nighttime, although a chance of mist along the coast would continue. By Tuesday, Israel will likely experience partly cloudy skies, and on Wednesday, fair skies with a significant rise in temperatures, the IMS said.

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