The temperatures on Tuesday remained above seasonal average and rain hit most parts of Israel in the early hours of the morning, with thunderstorms expected in the southern parts of the country later in the day. Meteorologists warn there are fears of flooding in eastern and southern rivers.
In the northern city of Haifa, the temperatures will range from scorching 37 degrees celsius during the day Sunday to 24 degrees at night. In Tel Aviv, the weather will be less warm with a range of 31 degrees during the day and 24 degrees at night. In the southern city of Be’er Sheva, temperatures will range from 34 degrees throughout the day to 21 degrees at night. In Jerusalem, the temperatures will reach some 33 degrees celsius during the day and falling to 20 degrees overnight.
The Metro-Tech meteorological company said the reason for the highly unusual for this time of year weather - when the extreme heat is accompanied by heavy showers - is a result of a rare atmospheric phenomenon.
“The layers of the atmosphere which are closer to earth have air coming from the deserts of Saudi Arabia, so it’s very hot,” said Meteo-Tech’s meteorologist Tzahi Wachsman. “On the other hand, in the higher layers of the atmosphere the air remains cold, creating rain clouds.”
“This phenomenon can result in lightning, thunder and even hail … but it’s very localized. It can happen anywhere,” he said.
Israel Nature and Parks Authority warned the holiday goers, celebrating the weekdays of the festival of Sukkot, to refrain from going on hiking trails near the rivers in the area of the Judean Desert.
In addition Ein Gedi Nature Reserve was closed to visitors due to the extreme heat that reigns in the area, with the temperatures reaching some 40 degrees celsius.
On Wednesday the heat is expected to subside while intermittent rain is still possible. There are still fears of flooding in eastern rivers and lower regions.