Wildfires scorch Israel; Middle East heat held at bay this week
The hottest weather in recent years helped fuel several dangerous wildfires across Israel late last week.
Temperatures peaked at 44 degrees Celsius (111 degrees Fahrenheit) in Tel Aviv on Thursday and was followed by a high of 42 C (108 F) on Friday. The normal high is only 29 C (84 F) for late May.
Around 3,500 people were forced to evacuate their homes as fires destroyed dozens of residences across the country, according to the Jerusalem Post.
The Times of Israel reported that over 1,000 fires were started in less than a two-day period. The fires burned nearly 2,000 acres.
The major highway connecting Tel Aviv and Jerusalem was closed to traffic for a time on Thursday due to multiple fires near the roadway.
Several people were treated for injuries from the wildfires; however, no fatalities had been reported.
The fires were contained on Friday as aid from Italy, Greece, Croatia, Cyprus and Egypt arrived following a request from Israel's Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu. By Saturday night, The Israel Fire and Rescue Services declared the end of the operation to extinguish the fires.
Heat also scorched Egypt, Lebanon, Syria and southern Turkey late in the past week.
A high temperature of 45.6 C (114 F) was reported in Cairo, Egypt, on Thursday, while a high near 42 C (107-108 F) was reported in Adana, Turkey, on Friday.
The heat quickly faded across Israel, with an afternoon high temperature of 28 C (82 F) in Tel Aviv on Saturday and Sunday. Similar temperatures were felt along the western coast of the Mediterranean Sea.
While afternoon temperatures will be held at lower levels than late last week, there will be a slow warming trend into the middle of the week.
After more comfortable temperatures over the weekend in Tel Aviv, the high by Wednesday expected to be 32 C (89 F).
Meanwhile, the core of the heat will remain farther to the east, affecting much of Iraq, western Syria, eastern Saudi Arabia and southwestern Iran.
High temperatures through the start of the coming week are expected to surpass 40 C (104 F) across a large region, including in Baghdad, Kuwait and Riyadh.
The hottest areas in southern Iraq could reach a scorching 46 C (115 F).
Download the free AccuWeather app to receive the up-to-date forecast for weather conditions in your community.
Comments that don't add to the conversation may be automatically or manually removed by Facebook or AccuWeather. Profanity, personal attacks, and spam will not be tolerated.
More Weather News
Weather News - June 18, 2019, 2:38:50 PM EDT
Survivors recount their terrifying close encounter with an EF2 tornado that ripped through town in the span of 10 minutes.
Weather News - June 18, 2019, 2:41:02 PM EDT
A Danish researcher's striking image isn't exactly what it seems at first glance — and scientists say scenes like this could become all too common in the future.
Weather News - June 19, 2019, 2:53:53 AM EDT
Storms that erupt over the Florida Peninsula into Wednesday evening may pack a wallop in terms of rainfall and gusty winds.
Showers, thunderstorms to dampen early days at Royal Ascot; Will dry weather return for the weekend?
Weather News - June 18, 2019, 12:00:49 PM EDT
Wet weather will be a concern for those attending the Royal Ascot on Wednesday, but some improvement is expected later this week.
Weather News - June 19, 2019, 2:55:09 AM EDT
The caboose in a train of storm systems will travel from the Midwest to the Northeast with concentrated heavy rain and the potential for severe weather -- it will also usher in an end to the stormy pattern for a time.
Weather News - June 19, 2019, 1:28:44 AM EDT
A magnitude 6.4 earthquake struck off the coast of northwestern Japan late Tuesday night local time (around 9:22 a.m. EDT), the United States Geological Survey said.
Weather News - June 19, 2019, 12:26:09 AM EDT
India avoided a direct hit from former Tropical Cyclone Vayu; however, the northwest parts of the country will still be at risk for flash flooding into Wednesday.
Weather News - June 18, 2019, 9:33:52 AM EDT
Satellite images show things are relatively quiet now, but a cluster of showers and thunderstorms is expected to grow and eventually develop into a tropical system.