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 9°C (48°F) while August temperatures average 24°C (75°F). In the coastal plains, including Haifa and Tel Aviv-Yafo, January averages 12°C (54°F) and August averages 25°C (77°F). 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 30°s C (lower 100°s 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.
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