Israel Weather boils down to two seasons really - summer and winter. Starting around April, the summer is hot and dry in the south and very humid along the Mediterranian coastline. Many locals do their best to take time off during these hot months. November usually brings relief from the heat with mild damp winters. I wouldn't really call them wet as the past several years have been seen little rainfall. The climate in Jerusalem and the higher elevations is somewhat drier and cooler all year round. If you're touring the capital, bring warm clothing for the evenings even on the hottest days as it can get pretty chilly up there!
Spring in Israel - Lupine blossom
Rainfall is normally heavier in the north and center of the country, with much less in the
northern Negev and almost negligible in the southern desert and Eilat. Having said that,
the little rain that does fall in the desert actually pours down over a very short period,
which can accumulate to very dangerous floods especially along the hiking trails. Travelers
get stranded often (on foot and even in all terrain vehicles), so make sure you're prepared
and follow the forecast.
As a Midwesterner, I am used to four full seasons, but the weather in Israel is not quite as seasonal as some of the Northern States in the U.S. such as Cleveland, Ohio (my hometown). Since Israel is influenced strongly by European immigrants, locals call the short transitional month of April and October 'Spring' (Aviv in Hebrew) and 'fall' (Stav). With unique local wildlife and flowers in full bloom, these periods can be quite beautiful and indeed very comfortable for travel (though very crowded as well). Passover is actually known as 'The Spring Holiday' (hag ha'Aviv), and October usually marks the arrival of the high holidays - Yom Kippur, Rosh Hashanah, and Sukot .
A stormy sky over the Sea of Galilee
Israel Weather extremes:
Recently the fall has all but disappeared as the temperatures stay fairly warm until October and
November, then turn to cooler and wetter weather in December which is the start of Winter.
Interesting Fact about Israel Weather - There are not well defined quarterly divisions of Season like June 21st, September 21st, December 21st and March 21st such as I am accustomed to in the US. If you ask someone in Israel when the season begins, it is always an approximate date. This makes sense as locals don't work well with deadlines :)
David's Tower, Jerusalem - covered in snow
Israel Weather Seasonal Summary:
Winter (December – February) - Average temperatures between 5-18 Degrees centigrade (41 to 65 Degrees Fahrenheit) in Tel Aviv during the day and possibly as cool as freezing point (0c/32f) at night.
Spring (March - May) - The nicest season of the year, with very comfortable climate. The temperature in Tel Aviv is usually between 16 to 24 Degrees centigrade (61 to 75 Degrees Fahrenheit). Jerusalem and the Golan Heights are about 3 degrees centigrade colder (5.5 Degrees Fahrenheit), and the South around Eilat is usually 3 degrees centigrade warmer.
Summer (June - September/October) - Make no mistake about it; Summer is hot in Israel! The combination of heat and humidity make the apparent temperature quite uncomfortable. Tel Aviv tends to be the most uncomfortable usually between 24 to 35 Degrees centigrade (75 to 95 Degrees Fahrenheit). Jerusalem and the Golan Heights are a bit milder with lower temperatures and less humidity. (approx. 3 degrees centigrade cooler or 5.5 Degrees Fahrenheit). and Eilat is usually 3 degrees centigrade warmer.
Relief from the summer heat at the
natural oasis of Sachne in northern Israel
During the month of August, the temperature in Tel-Aviv can rise to 42 degrees centigrade (108 degrees Fahrenheit mixed with up to 95% humidity) which makes the apparent temperature considerably higher. In Jerusalem the temperatures can be high but without the extreme humidity. In Eilat temperatures may even climb up to 50 degrees (122 Fahrenheit), but without the humidity. You have heard the phrase 'It's not the heat but the humidity'. Well, 122 Degrees is hot regardless. Eilat feels like a blast furnace in the Summer but the sweat will evaporate off of your body before you feel it. Of course, it's a great getaway for sunshine in December :)
Israel Weather Hot Tip - Do not under any circumstances travel the country without an ample supply of water, especially in the dry desert region. Remember, if you feel thirst, you have already waited too long.
Autumn (October – November) - Some claim there is an Autumn in Israel. I disagree; the temperatures stay consistently hot until November, then it just turn right to Winter with the first rain. Temperatures in Tel Aviv usually range from 16 to 24 Degrees centigrade (61 to 75 Degrees Fahrenheit). Jerusalem and the Golan Heights are approx. 3 degrees centigrade colder (5.5 Degrees Fahrenheit), and Eilat is usually 3 degrees centigrade warmer.
Israel Weather - I hope my recommendations have provided you some valuable tips on what type of weather to expect when visiting Israel as well as what to wear.
Tiyul Ne'eem! (have a pleasant trip in Hebrew)