Dust and strong winds: Israel braces for extreme heatwave

Flights delayed as sandstorms hit south; Ynet's meteorologist, Danny Roup says Israel will experience an extreme heatwave in the coming days, with the highest temperatures recorded since the beginning of spring, reaching 40°C

Intense extreme heatwave, temperatures reaching 40°C (104°F), and the danger of fires: That's what is expected on Friday across Israel, in what will supposedly be the hottest day since the beginning of spring.
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But before the heatwave, a sandstorm and heavy fog in Israel's south led to the delay on Thursday evening of two flights that were supposed to take off from Tel Aviv to Ramon Airport near Eilat.
Huge sandstorms were recorded in Israel's Arava desert region on Thursday night. In video taken in Eilat, a huge sand cloud is seen coming to the southern city.
The sandstorms came from Egypt, and left casualties behind. In Cairo, one person was killed and five were injured after a billboard fell on the road. The sky in Cairo turned gloomy in orange tones, and filled the sky of the Egyptian capital with sand. The sandstorms and strong winds also led to the closure of two Egyptian ports in the Red Sea.
The sandstorms were also recorded earlier in central Isarel.
A palm tree fell on a car in Hod HaSharon, with a woman sitting in the driver's seat who luckily suffered only minor injuries. The driver, Aviva Guterman, said, "I was driving when in the middle of the journey, the tree collapsed and fell on the car. I was fortunate. It was a huge tree. It fell on the passenger side. If someone had been sitting there, it would have been a disaster. My husband was supposed to accompany me, but in the end, he stayed at home. It was a miracle. The car was completely destroyed."
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עץ הדקל שקרס על רכב בהוד השרון
עץ הדקל שקרס על רכב בהוד השרון
A palm tree fell on a car in Hod HaSharon
(Photo: Magen David Adom spokesperson)
The Nature and Parks Authority announced that due to the severe heatwave conditions and high risk of fires, all hiking trails in the nature reserves and national parks in the Judean Hills and the Shefela region will be closed starting Friday. Visitors will only be allowed to access designated sites near a water source and shade.
The Jewish National Fund warned hikers to not start fires in forests due to the risk of wildfires.
"Due to the expected severe weather forecast, lighting fires in wooded areas is absolutely forbidden. We call upon the public to show responsibility and act with caution to prevent fires that could endanger human lives, animals, and natural vegetation," Rami Zaritsky, JNF's fire officer, said.
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אובך וחול בנתב"ג
אובך וחול בנתב"ג
Sandstorm in Israel
(Photo: Ram Stavinsky)
Ynet's meteorologist, Danny Roup, said, "What we will experience on Friday and slightly on Saturday is a heatwave. This word implies dryness and extremely high temperatures. It's a short event, not a heatwave like we have in the summer that can last for weeks. The desert wind is drying us out, which doesn't happen in the summer. On Thursday, we will already feel a rise in temperatures. During parts of the day, we will see high clouds partially covering the sun, with temperatures above 30°C. It will be a hot day, but not extreme."
"On Friday we will experience an extreme heatwave, with the highest temperatures recorded since the beginning of spring. Stay indoors," he added. "They will climb to over 40°C in the coastal area, Shefela, in the Jordan Valley, and the Arava. There are places in the Jordan Valley where it can reach 46°C or 47°C (114°F-116°F). On Saturday, there will be a decrease of 10 -12 degrees Celcius (50-53 degrees Fahrenheit) in temperatures. It may seem like a break from the heatwave. However, only on Sunday and Monday will the temperatures drop to 25°C-26°C (77°F-79°F), which is normal and typical for this period."
Experts recommend during hot days to avoid unnecessary strenuous physical activity t. If it is necessary, it should be conducted in shaded areas, drink plenty of fluids, and take regular breaks during the activity. Extra caution should be taken with infants and the elderly, ensuring they have an adequate water supply. And, always remember especially during these hot days, to check that no one is left in a car.
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