July in Israel was hot — in fact, it was hotter than the average August, generally considered the hottest month of the year, and the second hottest July on record. According to officials of the Meteo-Tek weather forecasting organization, July 2017 was on average three degrees Celsius warmer than in most years. Compared to recent years, the only months that were hotter than July 2017 were the months of August in 2010 and 2015. The only July hotter that has been recorded since Israel began keeping records was in 2000.
Weather experts said that July was characterized by several waves of strong heat that lasted far longer than usual. While no temperature records were broken, the extent of the heat waves and the high temperatures taken as an aggregate made the month very difficult for many Israelis.
The highest temperatures were recorded in the central plain, including the Sharon, Rehovot, and in large cities. In Eilat, temperatures averaged 41.8 degrees Celsius, 1.4 degrees more than average for a “standard” July. The highest average daily temperature was in Beit She’an, with 39.9 degrees Celsius on an average day. In Yerushalayim, the average temperature was 32.9 degrees Celsius, 2.9 degrees higher than usual for a July day. Overall, there were very few days anywhere in the country with temperatures close to average for most Julys.
The Meteo-Tek staff did not offer any specific predictions for August, nor did they hazard to attribute the extreme weather to any specific cause, other than to say that the weather throughout Europe and many parts of North America was characterized by higher than average temperatures in July as well.