Israel continued to face an unprecedented and possibly historic heatwave on Monday, as temperatures soared across the country accompanied by unusually dry conditions.
The extreme heat sent Israelis rushing to the beach, despite strict guidelines to counter the spread of the coronavirus.
Although beaches are only set to officially reopen on Wednesday, many could be seen swimming in the sea and sunbathing on the beachfront, both of which are prohibited under the current Health Ministry orders.
Temperatures are expected to reach abnormal heights ranging from 40 to 44°C on the coastal plain, lowlands and the northern Negev.
In the Jordan Valley and the Arava, temperatures were expected to reach from 45 to no less than 49°C.
Despite the heavy heat, Monday afternoon may see light local rain in the Arava and southern Negev, accompanied by thunderstorms and strong winds.
No relief is forecast in temperatures in the coming days. On Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday the extreme heat will continue.
The Meteorological Service said that temperatures throughout the country on Sunday reached more than 40°C, with some regions seeing temperatures of more than 45°C.
One of the communities destined to feel the brunt of this heatwave is the West Bank settlement of Gilgal, near Jericho, where temperatures are expected to reach 48°C.
Itzik Adari, who lives Gilgal said that the extremely warm weather is a challenge for the residents, both for their work in agriculture and their day to day lives.
"You can’t get used to this kind of heat," said Adari. "Whoever works in farming, which is 70% of the people who live here, only start their working day around 5pm."
According to meteorologists, such a prolonged heat is uncommon during spring months (April to mid-June), as heatwaves during this season are usually associated with low-pressure areas and are therefore short.
The current phenomenon can be associated with high atmospheric pressure compared to the surrounding environment, associated with a low-pressure system found northward of the southern Red Sea.
As such, the current heat will most likely be prolonged with a continued rise in temperatures.
According to the Meteorological Service, the high temperatures are expected to last six days.
This is an unprecedented event in Israel, where there has never been a six-day heatwave with temperatures of more than 38°C in recorded history.