Israel wraps up hottest, driest year on record

Monday, January 03, 2011 |  Ryan Jones

The previous twelve months were the hottest and overall driest year Israel has experienced since weather records started being kept.

The Israel Meteorological Service has published year-end data showing that temperatures across Israel in 2010 were some 2-3 degrees hotter than the average temperatures recorded over the past 30 years. For instance, from 1981-2000, the average annual temperature in Jerusalem was 63.5 degrees Fahrenheit (17.5 Celsius). During 2010, that average temperature rose to 68.5 F (20.3 C).

IMS officials noted that is a severe increase.

2010 was also one of the driest years Israel has experienced in over 80 years. There have been years with less overall rain than 2010, however the past year saw the fewest days with rainfall.

Coupled with the rising temperatures, the enormous number of dry days meant an increase in evaporation, which together with greater public water needs has resulted in Israel’s worst drought since its rebirth as a nation-state.

Israel’s cabinet is soon scheduled to debate an emergency water plan for the coming year.

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