Wednesday, July 17

"Wildfires Rage through Israel as Country Faces Extreme Heatwave"

The Media Line
July 17, 2019
Several wildfires broke out across Israel on Wednesday as the country faces an extreme heatwave. Temperatures across the nation have ranged from 39 Celsius (102 Fahrenheit) in Tel Aviv to 42 Celsius (108 Fahrenheit) in the southern city of Beersheba.
The fires have been described variously as brush fires (The Times of Israel)  and forest fires (Media Line) but all the press blame the fires on the heatwave, which is near record-breaking in some areas. So far no casualties according to Debkafile's one-paragraph report, although the Times reports some minor injuries due to smoke inhalation. 

All the Israeli English-language major press, e.g., Jerusalem Post, Haaretz, the Times, etc., have reported about the fires; see those outlets for details.

As to whether the heatwave has affected regions near Israel, I'm just learning about the Israeli heatwave. We have our own heatwave right here in Washington, DC, along with two-thirds of the rest of the nation; the heatwave could break records across the Northeast. Washington is expected to be as hot as Death Valley this Saturday. 

Give me a moment. [taptaptaptaptap. tap] I'm not seeing anything on Google News about a heatwave in the Middle East, beyond the Israeli one. Wait. On page 2 of the headlines, there's a report from The National about a heatwave that struck the Middle East in June, with Bahrain registering its highest temperature since 1902. 
The Middle East’s heatwave has intensified in the past few weeks, and the death of an outdoor worker in Kuwait was linked to the high temperatures.
Among the countries hardest hit was Iraq, where electricity production in the summer only meets half of the demand.
Countries across the region sought to lessen the impact on their populations. 
And I see Accuweather reported on May 23, "Dangerous heat wave to stretch from Egypt to Turkey, Syria into Friday."

So while the world press was focused on the extreme heatwave in Western Europe in late June, the Middle East has been hit by a series of extreme heatwaves since late May, including one in June.  

By the way, next week Europe might be hit again. From Euronews, today:
After a brief spell of respite from a scorching heatwave that gripped Europe last month, projections show that temperatures are likely to soar once again next week in areas including France, Germany, Austria, the UK, Norway, the Netherlands Spain, and Portugal.
Météo France, the country's national weather agency, said on Wednesday that we could be heading towards a second heatwave, but that forecasts were not yet definitive.

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