Situated on the Mediterranean Sea, Israel is not known for having a wintery climate – but the country does see some snow flurries in the depths of winter.
Despite temperatures reaching highs of 90-degree Fahrenheit (32 degrees Celsius) during the summer months, January and February see the barometer drop to lows of 40 degrees Fahrenheit (5 degrees Celsius) in Jerusalem and the Galilee hills.
The Golan Heights, which plays host to Israel’s only ski resort, often sees just over 6.2 inches (160mm) of snowfall per week during the peak of the winter season – which comes to an abrupt halt as the ground thaws in March.
Israel is a beautiful country and one that’s packed with culture and an array of fantastic sights to see. While it may not be the snowiest nation on earth, there are occasions when you can see parts of this Levantine region blanketed by snow – you just have to pick your moment.
Keep reading to find out more about snow in Israel.
When does it snow Israel?
Most of Israel goes the entirety of the year without seeing a single snowflake. That being said, the country does get heavy snowfall on occasion – but usually the flurries are concentrated between December and March.
Snow in December
As the winter season begins, up to 3 inches (around 75mm) of snow falls weekly on Israel’s Mount Hermon in the Golan Heights. The populous Tel Aviv still basks in average temperatures of 56 degrees Fahrenheit (14 degrees Celsius) at this time of year and although there may be up to a week of rain over the course of the month, there is no snow.
Snow in January
January is when the snowfall starts to pick up in Mount Hermon, with around 6.2 inches (160mm) per week falling on the mountain’s slopes. Temperatures remain mild in Tel Aviv and across much of Israel, and so most of the country remains snow-free.
Snow in February
The snowfall starts to die down during February, with Mount Hermon only seeing around two days of snowfall throughout the entire month. About 4.3 inches (110mm) falls on the slopes each week, while the rest of the country sees an almost equal amount of rainfall.
Snow in March
Israel’s winter season ends in March, as Mount Hermon’s snowfall declines to just 1.6 inches (40mm) per week. At this stage, temperatures begin to pick up in Tel Aviv as Israel heads towards spring.
Where is there Snowfall in Israel?
Vast areas of Israel go without snow for years on end, yet some such as Jerusalem, Safed, and Mount Hermon see some snowfall each year. With flurries concentrated between December and March, holidaymakers should not expect a winter wonderland when visiting most of the country.
To give a better indication of what you can expect from Israel’s climate, here are the snow conditions for some of the nation’s major population hubs.
Snow in Jerusalem
Israel’s capital city is situated on a plateau between the Mediterranean and the Dead Sea. For most of the year, temperatures sit at over 50 degrees Fahrenheit (10 degrees Celsius) but do drop down to 46 degrees Fahrenheit (8 degrees Celsius) and 48 degrees Fahrenheit (9 degrees Celsius) in January and February, respectively.
While it may not be a particularly snowy city, Jerusalem does host a popular winter festival that starts in November each year. During the festivities, visitors can look forward to ice skating, ice sculpting competitions, and a variety of beautiful wintry sites. As December wears on, you may even see a dusting of snow as you wander around.
Snow in the Golan Heights
Situated in the North East of Israel, the Golan Heights (known simply as the Golan) is a large region at a significantly higher elevation than much of the rest of the country. As host to Israel’s only ski resort, the area turns white during the winter months as snow sweeps in from December to March.
In January, temperatures drop down to lows of 46 degrees Fahrenheit (8 degrees Celsius) and some areas see as much as 6.2 inches (160mm) of snow per week.
Snow in Safed
The city of Safed in Israel’s North District also sees moderate snowfall during the winter months. As temperatures fall to lows of 12 degrees Fahrenheit (12 degrees Celsius) in January, up to five inches (130mm) of snowfall leaving the highest city in Galilee and Israel looking wintery.
Although such events are extremely rare, Safed did record 23.6 inches (600mm) of snow during the winter of 1950.
Ski Resorts in Israel
As much of Israel is close to the coast, it doesn’t lend itself to skiing and there is little snowfall across much of the country. Despite this, the Golan Heights region plays host to the popular Mount Hermon Ski Resort.
Mount Hermon Ski Resort
The Mount Hermon Ski Resort is situated on the south-eastern slopes of Mount Hermon, in the Israeli-occupied region of the Golan Heights. Owing to the mild conditions, Mount Hermon Ski Resort is only open at the peak of the winter season between December and March.
With 14 pistes and 8 lifts, Mount Hermon makes for the perfect (and only) skiing destination in Israel.