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Climate and Weather

Israel - Climate and Weather

Israel is situated in an area which is considered to be subtropical. In the north and along the coast the summers are hot and dry, although the winters are cool and experience a great deal more rain. The south and east of the country has a very dry climate all year round and about 60% of the country is desert, with the majority of the population living in the major cities.

The country does see snow, but only in the Golan Heights where the mountain summit is snow covered for part of the winter. Heavyweight clothing is not required for winter as they are milder than those of countries such as the UK and the USA.

The southern point of Israel where it meets the Red Sea offers excellent beach holidays due to the all year round good weather. This point has the least rainfall and the highest temperatures. In this region only lightweight clothing is required but high levels of sun screen are recommended.

The rainy season runs from October to May, with the highest levels in December to February. Rainfall varies from region to region with the highest levels in the north. Rainfall in the south is minimal. The average rainfall in Jerusalem is just 125mm in winter with none expected during the summer months of July and August. The city of Eilat at the southernmost part of the country has an average rainfall of just 10mm in December and other winter months with none at all expected from June to September.

The average temperatures in Jerusalem range from 8°C in winter to 24°C in summer. Eilat has an average temperature of 16°C in winter and 33°C in summer.

There are no major weather warnings to be aware of, as the country does not suffer from hurricanes or tornados, although newcomers should be aware of the hot winds that bring high temperatures in from the desert. These are known as sharav and occur mainly at the beginning and end of the summer.

The country has a great deal of sunshine and averages six or seven hours a day during the winter months, while the summer months can see as much as 13 hours of sunshine in one day. This means that alternative energy sources such as solar panels are a viable option in the country and many have begun to use them to heat domestic hot water supplies.

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