Sunbathers at Achziv Beach on the northern coast.
Sunbathers at Achziv Beach on the northern coast, August 2010. Photo by Yaron Kaminsky
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After a week-long heat wave, the worst seen this year, weather conditions are expected to show mild improvement on Sunday. The "cooler" period is predicted to last until Tuesday, with temperatures reflecting what is usually seen in August.

The heat wave reached its peak on Friday, as extreme weather conditions, unlike anything experienced in August in many years, were felt throughout the country. In the northern Negev the mercury passed 40 degrees Celsius (about 104 degrees Fahrenheit ), while temperatures in Eilat were just shy of a scorching 47.

As with the last heat wave, it all came down to a weakening of the seasonal westerly winds, which moderate the heat.

Along the coast temperatures raged between 34 and 36 degrees Celsius last week, but other elements - particularly the high level of humidity - made it feel closer to 40 degrees. Temperatures also remained particularly high during the evening hours, not dropping below 27 degrees along the coastline.

Saturday saw a slight drop in temperatures: about a degree or two in most areas of the country. In Tel Aviv, temperatures reached a maximum of 32 degrees and by Tuesday are expected to drop to 31. Temperatures in Jerusalem peaked at 33, and will also drop to 31 by Tuesday. In Eilat, the mercury dropped on Saturday to 42 degrees.