Israel: Weather Overview
Israel is one of those interesting countries that, although it takes up a relatively small amount of space, across that space there is a wide range of geographical conditions witnessed. Bordering Lebanon to the north, Syria to the North East, Jordan to the East and Egypt to the South West- as you move around the country you will experience of smorgasbord of climates- resulting from differing proximity to sea or mountains.
In the south of Israel you will find the Negev Desert, a desert which at 13,000 square kilometers takes up 55% of the country. This region itself is home to varying topography as you move east, south, north or west.
In the North of Negev you will find the Mediterranean Zone, as obviously, this is the area closest to the Mediterranean! Because of the moderating and healthy influence of the Med, this area sees 300mm of rainfall annually and the soil here is considerably more fertile than other parts of the Negev.
As you move further west, annual rainfall begins to decrease- here there is 250mm of annual rainfall on average and the soil here is light and partially sandy. In Western Negev there are sand dunes that reach up to almost 30 m high- quite a breathtaking sight.
Central Negev is where you will find the city of Beersheba- here rainfall decreases even more, receiving 200mm on average across the year. In this region the conditions across the year will see more extremes, particularly when compared with the Mediterranean region. Winters can get quite cold and summers very hot, evenings bring colder temperatures and its best to pack a sweater if planning on exploring the area at night.
The Ramat Ha Negev is the high plateau of the region- here you will find you are 320 to 520 meters above sea level. Due to this elevation, extremes are witnessed in both summer and winter and this area only sees 100m of rainfall annually.
Arabah Valley, along the border with Jordan, is by far the most arid area in the Negev- seeing only 50mm of rainfall on average across the year. Due to its location to the east of Sahara, there is very minimal rainfall across the entirety of the year- the average rainfall from June to October is Zero. The hottest temperature ever recorded in all of Asia was recorded in this region- when the mercury topped an excruciating 57 degrees!
In northern Israel you will find the most mountainous area of the country- located here are the Galilee, Carmel and Golan mountain ranges. Here in the mountainous regions you can find very windy conditions and changeable weather across the whole year- the climate here is a stark contrast to the climate in southern Israel.
Lying in the Judean Mountains, between the Mediterranean Sea and the northern tip of the Dead Sea, is Israel’s capital city of Jerusalem. Jerusalem, as well as being Israel’s largest city, is also one of the oldest cities in the world. Due to its proximity to the Mediterranean, Jerusalem witnesses a mild Mediterranean climate- though it doesn’t get as hot here as it does in cities on the Med coast- such a Tel Aviv. Jerusalem sees its coldest temperatures in January, when the average daily temperature is 8 degrees- 4 out of every 5 winters will recorded at least a small trace of snow and every few years there will be a significant snowfall.
The hottest months of the year are July and August which each see and average daily temperature of 23 degrees- though there are several days throughout summer where the mercury will rise about 30 degrees. In Jerusalem be warned that the evenings can get quite chilly so come prepared for this. Summers see very little rainfall, and most of the years rain falls between October and May, on average there will be about 590mm of annual precipitation.
Jerusalem has long has a problem with air pollution- this is a downside of being such an old city as the small, narrow streets are not designed for the amount of cars that pass through them so congestion is a problem.
Israel’s second largest city, Tel Aviv, lies on the Mediterranean coast and enjoys mild, enjoyable conditions all year round. The last time Tel Aviv recorded any snow fall was in 1950, and it is pretty rare to see the barometer recording temperatures below 5 degrees.
Tel Aviv is humid for most of the year- due to its proximity to the sea. The sea has a moderating effect on the climate however, and winter brings average temperatures of 10 to 15 degrees- which is remarkably mild.
Summers in Tel Aviv bring an average temperature of 26 degrees, in the height of summer you will find there are days on end that see the mercury rise about 30 degrees- the hottest temperature ever recorded in Tel Aviv was a sweltering 43 degrees. Despite the high humidity in Tel Aviv, there is very little rainfall across the summer months and most rain falls from October to April- normally recording about 530mm across the year.
The Mediterranean coast of Israel basks in a glorious 300 days of sunshine across the year- the country as a whole is known for receiving copious amounts of sun across the year, which is why it has become the worlds leading nation in solar energy use per capita!