Authorities: Israel Likely to Face Extreme Heat Waves This Summer

(Olga Burtseva via AP)

Israel is likely to face several extreme heat waves this summer, when the temperatures will reach up to 120 degrees Fahrenheit (48 degrees Celsius), authorities announced Sunday.

The prognosis published by the National Emergency Management Authority (NEMA) — a body that is part of the Defense Ministry — and the Israel Meteorological Service stated that the expected extreme weather events are the result of the climate crisis facing the planet.

According to the prediction, two severe heat waves per month, lasting three to four days each, will take place in the summer months (June through to September), as temperatures will rise to an estimated 120 degrees Fahrenheit.

Authorities are preparing for various emergencies, crises and disasters, which may endanger human life and cause severe damage to daily life, national infrastructure and security capabilities. As a result of the increase in climate-related events in recent years, NEMA and the Israel Meteorological Service have formulated reference scenarios for extreme weather like floods, fires, and the new reference scenario for extreme heat waves.

Peak electricity consumption will increase by 10%, mortality is expected to increase by 8.5% above average, the rate of hospitalization due to cardiovascular diseases may increase by 10-15%, and the likelihood of wildfires breaking out will rise significantly.

The Jordan Valley region is likely to register the highest temperatures.

NEMA director Brigadier General (Res.) Yoram Laredo said that the report exemplifies “the implications of a serious event. The scenario is a binding document and forms the basis for preparation of government ministries and planning and operative bodies. It describes the periods of the year prone to heat waves, their expected frequency, heat maps, peak temperatures expected at any point in Israel and the implications to prepare for – from an increase in electricity consumption and the risk of huge fires to a significant increase in morbidity and mortality.”

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