Jerusalem Breaks Temperature Record as Heat Wave Wallops Israel

City surpasses 1902 record as mercury reaches over 42 degrees Celsius, with communities in the north getting even hotter

Zafrir Rinat
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Visitors at a spring in the outskirts of Jerusalem, August 30, 2020.
Visitors at a spring in the outskirts of Jerusalem, August 30, 2020.Credit: Ohad Zwigenberg
Zafrir Rinat

Jerusalem saw record-breaking heat on Thursday, with the daily high of 42.3 degrees Celsius (over 108 degrees Fahrenheit) surpassing the previous record of 41.1 degrees in 1902, the Israel Meteorological Service said on Friday amid a country-wide heat wave. The low temperature for the day was 31.5 degrees Celsius (88.7 Fahrenheit), breaking the 1942 record of 30.5 degrees.

Other locations broke temperature records, with highs in the north, in the Golan Heights and the Hula Valley area smashing previous records. In Kibbutz Kfar Blum, the mercury hit 47 degrees (over 116 Fahrenheit), easily breaking the previous high of 43.6, while in in the kibbutz of Ayelet Hashachar, the temperature reached 46.6 degrees, compared to the previous high of 43. A record was broken at Merom Golan too, with a new high of 40 degrees, compared to the previous 38.6.

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Record high temperatures were recorded also recorded in Safed, Arad, Mitzpeh Ramon and other places.

The heat wave hit throughout the country giving no relief even at night – with record nighttime highs, too.

The heat wave is unusual in its heat and length, said climate and water expert Amir Givati. August and the beginning of September are usually characterized by stable weather systems because of a low pressure system that comes from the Persian Gulf region. But this year, this system was forced out early by desert weather systems coming in from the Red Sea region. These systems cause extreme hot and dry weather in some areas, with very humid weather along the Mediterranean coast.

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