Israel is experiencing the hottest August since 2010, the Meteorological Service and Meteo-Tech said Monday, as high temperatures prevailed, with over 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit) measured in many parts of the country.
Afula's record temperature for August was broken with 41.5 degrees Celsius (106.7 degrees Fahrenheit) measured. Other places where high temperature was measured were Tzemach on the Kinneret with 44 degrees Celsius (111.2 degrees Fahrenheit), Be’er Sheva with 42.9 degrees Celsius (109.22 degrees Fahrenheit), Gilgal in the Jordan Valley with no less than 46.4 degrees Celsius (115.52 degrees Fahrenheit). Haifa measured 34.8 degrees Celsius (94.64 degrees Fahrenheit), but combined with 80 percent humidity, it felt like 42 degrees Celsius (107.6 degrees Fahrenheit) outside.
Tzachi Waxman, a forecaster from Meteo-Tech, said that Sunday was the peak of the heat wave. Monday saw a very slight drop in temperatures, mainly in central and southern Israel, but the heat remained unbearable.
"In places where it is dry, such as Be’er Sheva and Jerusalem, humidity is expected to rise and the temperature will drop," said Waxman.
The weathermen are not optimistic for the rest of the week. "There will be some relief on Tuesday, but it will continue to be unusually hot for the month of August," noted Waxman.
Hope, he says, will only come towards the end of the week, when a cooling down will take us back to the average temperature for the season.
Waxman said that neighboring countries are also suffering from extreme heat waves. "Our neighbors are suffering equally. In Iraq and Saudi Arabia temperatures are up to 50 degrees Celsius (122 degrees Fahrenheit). The Balkan countries, such as Bulgaria and Romania, have been suffering from a severe drought, without rain for nearly a month. Only in the next few days will the heat wave end and rains will resume."
Some Israelis were hurt by the heat wave on Sunday. In Bnei Brak, Magen David Adom personnel treated a 50-year who suffered a heat stroke. He was taken in serious condition, sedated and on a respirator, to Sheba Medical Center in Ramat Gan.
The heat wave did not stop hikers, who would have been better off refraining from such activity in such extreme weather. In the El Al stream in the Golan Heights, a pregnant woman and her five kids, including a one year old toddler, were rescued after suffering dehydration. Their condition is considered light.
In Banias, an 88 year-old woman who dehydrated was rescued. The Golan Rescue Unit advises Israelis not to hike during the hottest days of the year.
The El Al stream is considered one of the most problematic ones to hike in during extremely hot weather as there is no shade there.