Monthly weather forecast and climate

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Flag of Israel

The climate of Israel

Due to its location between the eastern Mediterranean Sea and the desert regions of West Asia, Israel has diverse climate types. The northern and western regions have a Mediterranean climate (Köppen climate classification Csa, Csb), with warm to hot summers and cold winters. The central region, beginning from the northern Negev Desert, is semi-arid (Köppen BSh, BSk). The southern region has a desert climate (Köppen BWh, BWk), with a humid continental climate (Köppen Dsb) in a small section in the southwest. Israel lies in West Asia, at the far eastern end of the Mediterranean Sea. Jordan and the West Bank lie in the east, the Red Sea in the south, Egypt in the southwest, the Mediterranean Sea, and the Gaza Strip in the west, Lebanon in the north, and Syria in the northeast. The Mediterranean Sea, the Saharan, and Arabian deserts mainly influence the climate.

The Tropic of Cancer passes through the southern tip of Israel, which lies between 29°N and 33°N of the equator. The topography is diverse, ranging from snow-capped mountains in the north to semi-arid regions in the center, and deserts in the south. Jerusalem lies on top of a mountain range that runs north-south, parallel to the coast. The fertile Coastal Plain region in the west extends to Gaza in the south from Lebanon in the north. The Central Hills region, east of the coastal plains, consists of several hills and fertile valleys. The Jordan Rift Valley lies further east, along with the Jordan River, the Sea of Galilee, and the Dead Sea. The Negev desert in southern Israel constitutes half of Israel's land area. The Jordan River is the longest river with a length of 199 miles. The largest freshwater lake is the Sea of Galilee. Mount Meron is the highest point in Israel at 1208 meters. The Dead Sea is the lowest point on Earth at 417 meters below sea level.

Israel has long, hot, and dry summers. A hot and dry wind blows in the summer from the southern desert region. The average temperatures are in the range of 22.2°C (72°F) to 37.8°C (100°F) in the summer. Temperatures occasionally run in the extremely high range of 44.4°C (111.9°F) to 46.1°C (115°F) in the Negev Desert in the south. Winters are mild in the central and southern regions and cold along the Mediterranean coast. The cold season is wet in the north and west but brings
little rainfall in the south. The average temperatures are between 6.1°C (43°F) to 22.8°C (73°F) in the winter, but the daily sunshine lasts from 6 hours to 8 hours. Night temperatures occasionally drop below freezing in the desert. Mountainous regions are cold and windy, with at least one snowfall event each year at altitudes above 750 meters. The altitude, latitude, and proximity to the ocean affect the weather. Spring and autumn are short, mild, and mostly dry.

Israel receives scanty annual rainfall between 30.5mm (1.2") in the extreme south and 889mm (35") in the north. Arable areas along the coast receive up to 304.8mm (12") of rain annually. More than 70% of the annual rainfall occurs mainly between November and March. The northern regions are the wettest and the southern, the driest. Much of the country receives ample sunshine between 3200 hours to 3600 hours annually. The average relative humidity is below 50%, with the highest along the western coasts and lowest in the south. The seawater temperatures in Tel Aviv, the capital on the Mediterranean Coast, range between a mild 17.2°C (63°F) to warm 27.2°C (81°F). On the Red Sea coast, the seawaters in Eilat are in the warm range of 21.1°C (70°F) to 27.8°C (82°F) and suitable for swimming, even in the winter.

Tirat Zvi in the Jordan Valley holds the record for the highest temperature of 54°C (129.2°F) in Israel and Asia, set on June 21, 1942. Merom Golan holds the record for the lowest temperature of -14.2°C (6.4°F), set on January 10, 2015.

The best time to visit Israel

The best time to visit Israel is during the mild spring and autumn seasons. Easter in April is an excellent time to visit historical sites as well as a beach holiday on the Red Sea coast. The Mediterranean Coast is warm from May to October, and the seawaters are suitable for swimming with average temperatures in the 25°C (77°F) to 27.8°C (82°F) range. October and November have comfortable conditions along the Red Sea coast as well as the interior. The Red Sea is warmer than the Mediterranean Sea and suitable for sunbathing in spring and autumn.

The worst time to visit Israel

The worst time to visit Israel is in the hot summer from June to September. The interior regions are arid and devoid of rainfall. The average high temperatures in the interior areas near Jordan Valley in the east and the southern Negev Desert touch 40°C (104°F) in the summer. July and August are brutal, with the sun's ultraviolet index at the peak of 12. The Red Sea coast is avoidable in the summer, with high temperatures and dry heat. However, the Mediterranean Coast has acceptable temperatures between 22.8°C (73°F) and 30°C (86°F) at the height of the summer.

Weather hazards

Israel sporadically faces natural weather hazards, such as droughts, earthquakes, forest fires, windstorms, and sandstorms. Scanty rainfall in the eastern and southern interior regions is the reason for frequent droughts. Temperatures often cross 48.9°C (120°F) during heat waves in the semi-arid and desert regions in the summer. Sandstorms stall all activities, as the hot air masses blow hot sand and dust particles over large distances. Earthquakes are relatively regular but of minor intensity and cause little damage. The Mount Carmel forest fire in 2010, the last major catastrophe, claimed 19 lives and destroyed 9900 acres of forest in a five-day blaze.

Weather in January

January, the coldest month of the year in Israel, is also its wettest month. Tel Aviv and Jerusalem register 127mm (5") to 152.4mm (6") of rainfall, and Tiberias receives 104.1mm (4.1"), but Eilat in the south hardly gets 5.1mm (0.2"). Weather in January »

Weather in February

February is a mild winter month in Israel, with average temperatures in the zone of 6.1°C (43°F) to 22.8°C (73°F). Tel Aviv temperatures are between 10°C (50°F) and 17.8°C (64°F), with days rarely above 21.1°C (70°F) and nights rarely below 1.7°C (35.1°F). Weather in February »

Weather in March

March is sunny in Israel, with average temperatures in the warm range of 7.8°C (46°F) to 26.1°C (79°F). The bright sunlight lasts for 7 hours to 8 hours every day, as the daylight improves from 11.5 hours to 12 hours by the vernal equinox. Weather in March »

Weather in April

April is sunny in Israel, with at least 9 hours of daily sunshine and clear skies for 85% of the time. The precipitation registers below 25.4mm (1"), even in the wettest regions of the north and west. The average highs range between 27.8°C (82°F) to 31.1°C (88°F) in the Jordan Valley and the southern deserts. Weather in April »

Weather in May

May is dry and sunny in Israel, with 11 hours of bright sunshine and 14 hours daylight. The temperatures register in the hot range of 18.9°C (66°F) to 32.8°C (91°F) in the east and 22.2°C (72°F) to 36.1°C (97°F) in the south. Weather in May »

Weather in June

June is the beginning of the hot summer season in Israel and the clearest skies of the year. The bright days receive 100% daily sunshine of 12 hours. The summer solstice produces the longest days in the country. June 20 is the longest day of the year in Tel Aviv, with 14 hours and 15 minutes of daylight. Hadera, on the west coast, registers average temperatures in the 19.4°C (66.9°F) to 28.9°C (84°F) range, with relative humidity between 60% and 70%. Weather in June »

Weather in July

July is the hottest and sunniest month in Israel, with scorching sunshine and peak temperatures. The northern Jordan River Valley and southern Negev Desert have the hottest temperatures in the country that breach the 48.9°C (120°F) mark. Weather in July »

Weather in August

August is a hot and dry month in the summer in Israel, with clear skies and extreme temperatures. The interior is hot, with temperatures routinely above 37.8°C (100°F) during the day. Jerusalem, at the height of 700 meters, fares better than the eastern and southern regions, with average temperatures in the range of 18.9°C (66°F) to 27.8°C (82°F). Weather in August »

Weather in September

September witnesses an extension of the hot summer in Israel, with high temperatures. The average temperatures recede from the peak summer readings but are still high. In the south, Eilat registers average temperatures between 25°C (77°F) and 37.2°C (99°F). Weather in September »

Weather in October

October is warm to hot at the end of the summer in Israel. The average temperatures on the west coast and the central highlands are between 17.2°C (63°F) and 27.2°C (81°F). The Jordan River Valley and the Negev Desert register temperatures in the zone of 21.1°C (70°F) to 32.2°C (90°F). Weather in October »

Weather in November

November has moderate conditions in Israel, with warm days and cold nights. The average temperatures register in the wide range of 12.2°C (54°F) to 27.8°C (82°F), as the heat tapers gradually. Jerusalem and Tel Aviv see many tourists, as the average temperatures register in the moderate zone of 12.2°C (54°F) to 23.9°C (75°F). The daily sunshine drops to 8 hours in the month, and the daylight lasts for at least 10 hours. Weather in November »

Weather in December

December is the beginning of the mild to cold winter in Israel, with cloudy skies and significant rainfall. Tel Aviv temperatures are in the average range of 12.2°C (54°F) to 20°C (68°F), with 6 hours of daily sunshine. The average temperatures in Jerusalem are between 7.8°C (46°F) to 13.9°C (57°F), but nights remain above freezing. Weather in December »


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