The Weather In Israel (and what to wear)
When we picture the Israeli climate, we imagine the hot weather, the sun always shining, packed beaches, tanned people, and of course riding a camel in the desert.
However, what makes Israel so unique is that in addition to that, it also has terrain with high altitudes. What does that mean?
That every winter you can drive up north to the top of the Golan Heights and ski on Mount Hermon (at 9,230 feet above sea level) and just a two-hour drive away at the Dead Sea, you can still enjoy strong sunshine.
As well, in the capital of Israel – Jerusalem, located at a high altitude (3800 feet above sea level), it can get so cold that it snows every two seasons on average.
Jerusalem in the snow. A look from the Light Rail on Jaffa Street.
So, in order to properly understand the Israeli weather, we need to divide Israel into three different climatic zones:
- Mediterranean Climate
Most of the Central and Northern part of the Land of Israel falls under this climate zone. The Mediterranean climate is characterized by hot and dry summers (high humidity along the coast such as Tel Aviv & Haifa), low in precipitation, with volatile transition seasons and a rainy (rarely snowy) cold season. In the Mediterranean climate, more than 600 mm. of precipitation falls annually.
2. Semi-arid Climate
This is the climate between the Mediterranean climate and the desert climate. Due to year-to-year variation in the amount of precipitation in this climate area, it is impossible to define exactly where the boundary between the climate zones passes. Beersheba, for example, is in this climate zone. In the semi-arid climate zone, between 200 and 400 mm. of precipitation falls annually.
- Desert Climate
Most of Southern Israel falls under this climate zone and it is part of a global strip of subtropical deserts. It is an arid, low-lying area all year round, with no more than 200 mm. of precipitation falling per year.
So what clothing should I bring for a trip to Israel?
First of all, the fact that you are thinking of bringing clothing is already a good start 🙂
Now it really depends on what season/months you plan to visit our extraordinary country.
It is recommended that the majority of the clothing be lighter; short sleeves, summer outfits, swimwear, a hat to protect from the sun. If you will be visiting Tel Aviv or the coastal areas, during these months it can also be very humid.
Jerusalem is always a little colder than Tel Aviv, so if you plan to stay, or even spend an evening there, definitely bring long sleeves, and even a jacket. You will thank me later.
December – May
In general, warm winter clothing, sweaters, coats, long pants, but I would prepare for the occasional warmer day as well.
On the chance that it rains, there are umbrellas available for purchase at a minimal price at most supermarkets.
Of course, you can always consult with us obligation free, regarding all your Israel trip concerns. (including but not limited to, the weather)