Israelis were told to prepare for a heat wave featuring temperatures of over 100°F on Wednesday.
“It’s an unusual but a very brief occurrence,” Giora Frenkel of the Meteo-Tech meteorological company told Ynet, noting that temperatures were expected to fall toward the end of the day.
The unusually hot weather was attributed to a system of high atmospheric pressure moving into Israel from Egypt, made worse by low humidity levels across the country.
The Health Ministry advised the public “to avoid exposure to the heat and sun as much as possible, to avoid nonessential physical exertion, to be careful to drink water, and to stay in air-conditioned areas as much as possible.”
The ministry noted that the elderly and those with chronic diseases are most at risk.
Fire and Rescue Services issued a ban on fires being lit in open areas – where strong winds can lead to the flames spreading beyond control – and forests.