Text size

Last Sunday it snowed not only on the Hermon, but in Safed and the Galilee mountains. On Mount Hermon, it was five degrees below zero (centigrade) and a cold snap swept the country. Yesterday, the temperature was 16 degrees on Mount Hermon.

"Weather systems like the one now in our region are not usual for February," explained Tzachi Waxman, duty meteorologist at Meteo-Tech meteorological services. "What's special about this one is the extent of the swing from very cold to heat, considered extreme even for spring, within only one week."

According to Waxman, the multiyear average shows that yesterday's temperature should have been 14 degrees in Jerusalem. Instead, it was 24 degrees, with hot weather predicted for the week ahead.

Waxman said the heat is part of a system originating in western Egypt and Libya, with southeasterly winds raising hot air from the deserts of Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Sudan and bringing it all the way to Israel.

In spite of this week's expected heat wave, "winter has not had its last word," said Waxman. "A rare heat wave has hit Europe over the past few weeks, and now it's being hit with cold weather and rain. The opposite is happening in our area. Although it should be cold now, we're getting a sharav. We're at the end of winter, but there are some cold and rainy days still ahead."