The fierce dust storm that has swept Israel over the past 24 hours has resulted in air pollution levels that are the highest recorded in the past five years, the Environmental Protection Ministry reported on Wednesday morning.
The pollution consists of tiny dust particles that in penetrating the respiratory system can irritate the lungs and blood vessels and cause particular problems for susceptible population groups such as the elderly, the chronically ill, pregnant women and infants. The ministry recommends that these groups avoid outdoor physical activity as much as possible.
Air pollution levels are expected to remain high in most of the country through the afternoon and evening on Wednesday and dropping only with the arrival of rain later in the day. The showers are expected to begin in the north and spread to the center. Snow is predicted for the highest elevations in the Golan Heights and the Galilee. Some snow may fall in the mountains in the center of the country, but will most likely not accumulate there, according to The Meteo-Tech forecasting firm. Winds of 60 to 100 kilometers per hour are expected. The Mt. Hermon ski resort was closed Wednesday morning due to the weather.