Israeli heat wave breaks country's temperature records ahead of hellish summer

Israel Meteorological Service director warns heat will continue to climb in the next two months leading to the dangerous spread of fires amid war

Israel’s forecast for the coming summer is extremely hot, with heat records being broken one after another – including in the Amiad area in northern Israel, where a large fire was raging – with weather experts predicting extremely hot summer months ahead.
In an interview with Ynet, Israel Meteorological Service Executive Director Dr. Amir Givati discussed the scorching weather and fires caused by, among other things, Hezbollah’s attacks.
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שריפה בקרית שמונה
שריפה בקרית שמונה
Fire near Kiryat Shemona
(Photo: National Fire and Rescue Authority)
"We said Monday was an extremely hot day. We talked about it reaching 48°C – which is very rare. We haven't seen temperatures like this in Israel for 20 years. In the Amiad area, temperatures reached 47°C, a record that hasn't been seen in 80 years. It was an extreme day."
He explained the extreme weather conditions caused the fires to spread in the north: "There was a reason it happened in the north. It was the combination of high temperatures, extreme dryness, and northerly winds coming from Lebanon that caused this impact."
The Israel Meteorological Service said that the heat record for June was broken at the Gilgal station in the Jordan Valley on Monday with a temperature of 48.1°C (118.58°F). It was also the highest temperature measured at the site in 22 years.
The absolute record was set on June 21, 1942, in Tirat Tzvi at 54°C (129.2°F). Beit Shean and Kfar Nahum near the Sea of Galilee saw 45°C; Kiryat Shmona, where many fires raged, reached 43°C; Karmiel measured 41°C and Jerusalem saw 37°C. Temperatures were much lower in the coastal plain, and Tel Aviv measured 27°C at noon.
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(Photo: Shutterstock)
Givati said that although the peak of the heatwave had passed, the weather will continue to be very hot: "We passed the peak, but there’s bad news – conditions that enable the spread of fires will continue in the coming days. The weather is still warmer and drier than usual, there are still strong winds and very low humidity. We’ll see extreme temperatures again by the weekend.”
He added the upcoming summer is expected to be much hotter than usual.
"We experienced this in April with an 84-year record broken in Tel Aviv, now it's coming east and northward," he said. "April was extremely hot. May was hot, but not to the same degree. The next two months will be hotter than usual for Israel and the entire Middle East.”
Givati reiterated this is the result of climate change. "Israel grew warmer by 1.5°C in the last 30 years. That's a lot. That's half a degree Celsius per decade. This is a very high warming rate. Israel is one of the countries that’s warming up the fastest in the world. The climate law will be discussed in the Knesset today so that Israel can hopefully deal with these trends better," he concluded.
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