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Land and Resources, Climate

driest spot, Judean Hills, Jordan Valley, Elat, coastal plains

Israel has a typical Mediterranean climate with cool, rainy winters and warm, dry summers. Temperatures vary considerably with elevation, exposure to the sea, and predominant winds. January is normally the coldest month and August the warmest. In upland regions such as Jerusalem, January temperatures average 9C (48F) while August temperatures average 24C (75F). In the coastal plains, including Haifa and Tel Aviv-Yafo, January averages 12C (54F) and August averages 25C (77F). The highest and lowest elevations are subject to extremes: Frost occurs a few days a year in mountainous inland regions, while summer temperatures can reach the upper 30s C (lower 100s F) in the Jordan Valley and in southern desert regions.

About 70 percent of annual precipitation falls as rain between November and February. Amounts of rain decrease from north to south and from west to east. The upper Galilee receives about 1,000 mm (about 40 in) of rain annually; the Judean Hills, about 700 mm (about 30 in); and most of the Negev, about 100 mm (about 4 in). Elat, the driest spot in Israel, receives only 25 mm (1 in) annually. Snow falls occasionally in higher parts of the hills during the coldest months. Frequent summer droughts, especially in the southern desert regions, make extensive irrigation a necessity. Heavy rains in these and other areas can cause flooding and erosion.

Article key phrases:

driest spot, Judean Hills, Jordan Valley, Elat, coastal plains, coldest month, Negev, Tel Aviv-Yafo, Haifa, erosion, Jerusalem, Frost, flooding, necessity, averages, s F, Heavy rains, Israel, Snow, extremes, summer temperatures, exposure, sea, east, days, year, areas, s C


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