People walk on the beach as Israeli Air Force planes fly above during an aerial show as part of celebrations for Israel's Independence Day, in Tel Aviv May 6, 2014.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Israelis heading out to the nation’s parks and picnic areas to celebrate Independence Day on Thursday will likely encounter unseasonably cool temperatures, potentially accompanied by bouts of rain.
The Israel Meteorological Service forecast partly cloudy skies with scattered showers in the North, hazy conditions in the South and a chance of isolated showers in the Center on Thursday.
As strong winds and cool weather prevail, snow may fall on Mount Hermon by nightfall.
In the Tel Aviv area, temperatures should range between 14°-19°, while those in Jerusalem should be between 9°-14°, according to the IMS. Beersheba temperatures are expected to be between 11°-20°, while those much farther south in Eilat should be between 16°-25°. In the North, the IMS forecast temperatures of 11°-16° in Katzrin and 12°-16° in Haifa.
Over the weekend, following Independence Day, the IMS predicted partly cloudy to fair skies on Friday, still with unseasonably cool temperatures and a chance of light rain in the North in the morning. By Saturday, however, temperatures should warm up to seasonal levels, the IMS said.
While last year, Keren Kayemeth LeIsrael-Jewish National Fund said about a million revelers arrived to its picnic sites and forests, and the Israel Nature and Parks Authority said they welcomed additional tens of thousands of travelers to national parks and nature reserves, weather conditions this year may impact people’s travels. Last year’s Independence Day occurred slightly later in the secular calendar, on May 6, and featured warmer and dryer conditions.
Nonetheless, KKL-JNF foresters said they are preparing to receive thousands of visitors, and are reminding celebrants to collect their trash.
“We increased the number of on-duty foresters in the forests,” said KKL-JNF Forester Micha Silko. “Those on duty will rotate among the visitors, distribute garbage bags and explain the importance of keeping the sites clean.”
In addition to advocating cleanliness, the foresters are emphasizing the importance of abiding by fire safety guidelines and reminding picnickers only to light fires in designated areas.
All hot coal embers should be extinguished with water and covered in soil, they said.
“We are requesting strict adherence to fire safety rules,” said KKL-JNF Gush Iron Forester Ohad Dagan. “Empty barbecues only in designated areas and immediately report any sign of a forest fire to the center.”