Extreme heat wave towards end of week

On Lag Ba'omer, bonfire holiday, temperatures expected to hit 104F prompt general bonfire ban.

Chana Roberts ,

Heat wave
Heat wave

Tuesday will be clear or partly cloudy, with a significant rise in temperatures. Inland and mountainous areas will be warmer than seasonal average and may suffer a heat wave.

From Wednesday until Friday Israel's weather is expected to be extremely hot and dry, with the heat reaching its peak on Thursday and Friday and temperatures reaching 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit) across most of Israel. Humidity will be low and strong winds are expected to blow.

Israel's Health Ministry called on the public, elderly, and chronically ill to avoid exposure to heat and the sun, avoid unnecessary physical exertion, drink enough water, and stay in air conditioned places.

On Sunday, the National Fire and Rescue Authority warned Israelis to refrain from lighting bonfires on Lag B'Omer in potentially dangerous areas due to the expected heat wave.

On Monday evening, Fire Commissioner Dadi Simchi issued a statement banning bonfires in most of Israel.

"Due to the extreme weather conditions, which raise the change of fires, I forbid the lighting of bonfires, including lighting fires in open areas," Simchi wrote. The statement added that bonfires may be built only in areas pre-approved by local authorities, and in the Negev south of Route 25.