Weather: Israel

For its size, Israel boasts unusually varied weather. Like its neighbours to the north, it has a Mediterranean coastal zone that gets regular winter rains. Annual amounts trend downward as you move south from the Haifa area (which gets around 630mm/25in, with a couple of soggy days every winter week) toward the Egyptian border (which sees less than 200mm/8in). Hardly any rain falls along the abbreviated Gulf of Aqubu coast, Israel's warmest corner. Here, afternoons typically warm to above 20°C/68°F in winter, and 30°C/86°F from April through October. The hills around Jerusalem are cool with damp periods in winter, including a snowfall or two each year (occasionally heavy), interspersed with bright, sunny spells. This area's dry season from May to October is pleasingly cool at night and warm by day. Occasional rounds of hot east winds – especially pronounced in the late spring and early autumn – can send temperatures above 38°C/100°F across Israel. On the Dead Sea coast – the world's lowest land – readings are far warmer than on the nearby highlands. Winters are sunny and mild, but summer days can be scorching, and the humid mid-summer nights can be stifling.