Expert: Extreme Heatwaves to Become Regular Occurrence

YERUSHALAYIM -

Israel has been battling an extreme heatwave for the past few days, with the records being broken in several parts of the country as the mercury rose to new heights.

“Heatwaves will become more prevalent, there is no doubt of that,” said Avner Furshpan, the head of Climatology at the Israel Meteorological Service (IMS), in an interview with Yediot Acharonot, predicting the trend will continue throughout this century, with the temperatures rising from three to four degrees on average.

Over the weekend Yerushalayim experienced scorching temperatures, which reached 42.7°C  (109°F), breaking the previous record of 41°C, set in 1902. Eilat also experienced record-breaking heat, with 49°C (120°F) recorded on Shabbos.

“Yerushalayim will have an average of 31.5°C by mid-century and 35°C by its end, but we must understand the average weather is taking into account heatwaves that will become more and more common,” Furshpan said.

“Winter temperatures may have some cooling effect,” Furshpan said, “Our latest research shows that though the world is heating up, there may still be extremely cold temperatures during winters.”

Over Shabbos, MDA medics and paramedics provided medical care to 229 people who suffered severe heatstroke. MDA treated 86 people who fainted and 28 who suffered from dehydration. Some 110 people suffered from weakness, dizziness and confusion.

Temperatures are expected to remain above average in the coming week all over the country despite a slight drop on Monday and Tuesday, with extreme weather expected to return during the weekend.