The climate in Israel is characterized by hot and sunny summers, and by a long period of sunshine, with clear skies from May to September. The rains (where they occur) are concentrated from November to March.


Mediterranean coast

Along the west coast (see Tel Aviv, Haifa, Netanya), the climate is Mediterranean, with very mild, rainy winters and hot, sunny summers, during which the air is humid but tempered the breeze.

Tel Aviv

In Tel Aviv, the average temperature ranges from 14 °C (57 °F) in January to about 26 °C (79 °F) in July and August. Heat waves can occur especially in the period from April to June, when the wind from the Egyptian desert can raise the temperature to around 40 °C (104 °F) even on the coast. Here are the average temperatures.
Tel Aviv - Average temperatures
Min (°C)101012141720232322191512
Max (°C)181820232527293029272420
Min (°F)505054576368737372665954
Max (°F)646468737781848684817568

Rainfall, concentrated in the winter months, amounts to around 580 millimeters (23 inches) per annum, and it is quite abundant from December to February. Here is the average precipitation.
Tel Aviv - Average precipitation

The sun in Tel Aviv often shines even in winter, except for the periods of bad weather, while in the long dry season, the sky is normally clear. Here are the average sunshine hours per day.
Tel Aviv - Sunshine

On the Mediterranean coast, the sea is warm enough for swimming from June to November.
Tel Aviv - Sea temperature
Temp (°C)181717182124262827262320
Temp (°F)646363647075798281797368

Inland areas

In the interior, the climate is more arid, but also more continental, due to the greater distance from the sea as well as the altitude. Jerusalem is located at 700 meters (2,300 feet) above sea level, Bethlehem, in the West Bank, at almost 800 meters (2,600 feet), while Nazareth is located at a lower altitude, around 300/500 meters (1,000/1,600 feet). In these inland areas, winter is still fairly mild, but there can be intrusions of cold air masses from Russiam which can even bring snow in January and February (and sometimes also in early March), usually above 600 meters (2,000 feet). During summer, the air in this area is dry, and the heat is usually tolerable, but the sun hits hard; moreover, hot air masses from the Egyptian desert can sometimes bring some days with scorching heat even here.


In Jerusalem, the average temperature ranges from 9 °C (48 °F) in January to 24.5 °C (76 °F) in August. Here are the average temperatures.
Jerusalem - Average temperatures
Min (°C)66813161819201917128
Max (°C)121315222528292928251914
Min (°F)434346556164666866635446
Max (°F)545559727782848482776657

Annual precipitation is around 550 mm (21.5 in), concentrated in the cold half of the year, while it almost never rains from May to mid-October. Here is the average precipitation.
Jerusalem - Average precipitation

In Jerusalem too, the sun frequently shines in winter, while it almost always shines from May to September, when clear skies are the norm.
Jerusalem - Sunshine


Further to the east, in the Jordan valley, where the altitude goes even below sea level (from Lake Tiberias to the Dead Sea), winter is mild, but summer is definitely hot.


Here are the average temperatures in Tiberias, on the shores of the lake of the same name (or Sea of Galilee).
Tiberias - Average temperatures
Min (°C)101012151922252523211612
Max (°C)181923283336383836322620
Min (°F)505054596672777773706154
Max (°F)64667382919710010097907968

In Tiberias, an average of 435 millimeters (17 inches) of rain falls each year, concentrated, as usual, in the winter months.
Tiberias - Average precipitation

Continuing south and heading towards the Dead Sea, precipitation becomes scarcer, and the landscape, apart from the areas where the river's waters are used to irrigate fields, is semi-desert.


Further to the south, in the areas bordering the Sinai Peninsula and the Red Sea, we find the Negev Desert, which has mild winters and very hot summers.


In Eilat, the average maximum temperature in July and August is 40 °C (104 °F), but it can sometimes exceed 45 °C (113 °F). On the other hand, in April and October, the maximum temperature is around 31/33 °C (88/92 °F), and sunshine is still guaranteed. So, unlike on the Mediterranean coast, summer is not the best time for a beach holiday on the Red Sea Coast.
Eilat - Average temperatures
Min (°C)101215182225272725221612
Max (°C)212326313639404037332823
Min (°F)505459647277818177726154
Max (°F)707379889710210410499918273

In Eilat, the rainfall is very poor, since it doesn't even reach 50 millimeters (2 inches) per year.
Eilat - Average precipitation

In Eilat, the sun shines regularly throughout the year, but some cloud banks can occasionally reach the area even in summer.
Eilat - Sunshine

Near Eilat, the Red Sea is a bit cool for swimming in winter, while it is pleasantly warm in the summer months.
Eilat - Sea temperature
Temp (°C)222121232526282828272523
Temp (°F)727070737779828282817773

Best Time

The best times to visit Israel are spring and autumn, and in particular, the months of April, May and October. Easter is therefore usually a good time to visit the sites of historical and religious interest in the country.
For a beach holiday, on the Mediterranean coast, the warm and sunny season is long and runs from mid-May to mid-October, although, as previously mentioned, the sea in May is still a bit cool. The Red Sea is warmer, but as mentioned, in summer the heat is too intense for sunbathing, especially from June to September, while in winter, from December to February, pleasant days alternate with others that can be a bit cold: so, the best periods for a beach holiday here are the month of April, and from mid-October to mid-November.

What to pack

In winter. In Jerusalem and inland hills, bring warm clothes, a jacket, a hat, a raincoat or umbrella, a scarf for the wind, and hiking shoes. In the Jordan Valley and Eilat, bring spring/autumn clothes, a shirt for the day, a jacket and a sweater, and an umbrella for the area north of the Dead Sea. In Tel Aviv and the Mediterranean coast, bring spring/autumn clothes, a sweater and a jacket, and a raincoat or umbrella.

In summer. In Jerusalem and inland hills, bring light clothes, a sun hat, a sweatshirt for the evening, a scarf for the wind-borne sand and dust, and hiking shoes. In the Jordan valley and Eilat, bring lightweight clothing of natural fibers, and a desert turban. In Tel Aviv and the Mediterranean coast, bring light clothing, and a light sweatshirt for the evening.
When going to the reef, you can bring snorkeling equipment, including water shoes or rubber-soled shoes.

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