The heat wave that Israel has been experiencing this week continued unabated on Friday.

Nahum Malik of the Metrotech weather service said however that temperatures would begin a long-awaited downward turn on Saturday and could reach seasonal averages by Tuesday.

Thursday was the hottest day since the start of the week. Temperatures reached 39 degrees Celsius in Jerusalem (9 degrees above average), 38 degrees in Tzfat, 43 degrees at the Sea of Galilee and 46 degrees in Eilat.

In the Tel Aviv area, the temperature reached 34 degrees but felt like 42 degrees due to high humidity.

The demand for electricity reached a new peak – 11,530 megawatts - in the afternoon hours of Thursday. The previous high was 11,200 megawatts on Wednesday.

Despite the high demand, Israel's electric company did not need to initiate any power outages. Some short localized outages were reported but they were not connected to the heat.

100 incidents of heat stroke were reported on Thursday. A foreign worker passed out in Moshav Ranen in the south and was transported to a hospital in serious condition.

Due to the heat, a large fire broke out on Thursday in the industrial area of Moshav Ora near Jerusalem. Firefighting crews battled the blaze for 18 hours. One firefighter was treated for smoke inhalation.

The intense sharav continued on Friday in the hills and inland, with warm, humid air along the coast. Temperatures will begin to fall on Saturday, but only by 2 to 3 degrees, and the coastal plain will continue to be hot and humid.

On Sunday, temperatures will drop another 1 to 2 degrees, but it will still be above average for the season with heavy heat stress.