(photo credit: ARIEL COHEN)
With sweltering temperatures and escalating humidity, Israelis continued to battle an extreme heat wave on Monday – the second such event to occur this month.
"We did have a slight drop in temperatures – compared to [Sunday] – of 1-2°C in the coastal plain, yet there was a significant rise of the relative humidity," Dr. Amos Porat, head of the Israel Meteorological Service Climate Department, told The Jerusalem Post on Monday. "This meant a rise in the heat stress until noon."
Aside from the Jordan Valley and Arava Desert regions, most areas around Israel featured a small decrease in temperature in comparison to Sunday, the peak day of a heat wave that began on Saturday and is expected to continue several more days. This is the second such system to hit Israel this month, with the first occurring on August 2 and lasting about a week. While IMS officials acknowledge the extreme nature of the events, they stress that such episodes are by no means rare.
Temperatures dropped on Monday about 2-3°C in the country's mountain areas and about 4-5°C in the Negev, Porat said. Jordan Valley and Arava residents, however, experienced a slight rise from the day before, he explained.
According to Porat, some of the maximum temperatures recorded at IMS stations around the country on Monday were 47.9°C in the Jordan Valley's Kibbutz Gilgal, 46°C in Eilat, 44.3°C in Sedom, 43.6°C in Zemah, 42°C in Kfar Blum, 40°C in Afula, 37.5°C in Beersheba, 37.3°C in Safed and Jerusalem, 35°C in Beit Dagan and 34.7°C in Negba and Haifa.
By Tuesday, the IMS forecasted continued unseasonably warm conditions, although accompanied by a slight relief in heat stress. Wednesday would likely show no significant changes in temperatures, but by Thursday, the IMS predicted fair and slightly cooler conditions, with additional slight cooling occurring on Friday.