Israelis are used to warm summer weather but this week has notched unseasonably hot temperatures, sending the mercury over 100° F (38° C) in most parts of the country. The Israel Meteorological Service reports that some cities even recorded the highest May temperatures since 1970.
Paran, a moshav community about 100 kilometers north of Eilat in the Arava Desert, scored the dubious record for highest temperature in the country — 113° F (45° C) on Wednesday (May 27).
Animals at the country’s zoos offered up some of the cutest “cooling off” photos as they played in water pools and ate frozen fruit.
Israelis swarmed to beaches (even though jellyfish season has begun) and to public swimming pools in a futile attempt to beat the heat. Many residents also jumped into city fountains for a quick watering down.
Brush fires were reported across the country.
The heatwave broke today and temperatures are back to seasonal averages of 79° F (26° C).