Beachgoers bath at the Mediterranean Sea during a sandstorm in Tel Aviv.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
The pollution was high today as a mix of dust from Egypt and high winds blew into Israel, forcing the Environmental Protection Ministry to issue a warning to those living in Jerusalem, Ashdod, and all places south of those areas.
According to the ministry, the high winds were caused by a low air pressure system over the Mediterranean Sea, bringing with it strong winds and lots of dust from the Sinai Peninsula and other parts of Egypt.
People with heart conditions or breathing problems, as well as the elderly, young children and pregnant women were recommended to avoid intense physical activity due to the high concentrations of particulate matter in the air.
A forecaster from the Israel Meteorological Service told the Jerusalem Post
that the pollution warning is expected to stay in effect for the central and southern regions of the country through Tuesday with rain expected in the morning and afternoon.
Though he said that rain usually helps to clear away pollution in the air, there is not expected to be enough to do this.
Even parts of the country that were not affected by the elevated pollution in the air experienced a drop in temperature, cloudy skies and scattered showers.
Jerusalem and Safed had the day's highest wind speeds as winds picked up to 65 kilometers per hour at times.
The central and northern parts of the country scattered showers that are expected to continue into Tuesday, though it is possible that the pollution warning will be taken down. The IMS warned that temperatures may continue to drop and even become unseasonably low.
It is a sharp contrast to the weather systems seen in February, which was one of the four hottest on record. Though March started out fairly warm, temperatures have gone down in general and are nowhere near the record-setting levels experienced just one month ago.