Israel has generally stable and pleasant weather conditions, except for the occasional ‘sharav’ or ‘chamsin’ weather systems that blow across the Middle East. Understanding what to expect can help you to plan your touring activities to make the most of Israel’s exciting weather.
A Sharav or Chamsin, as it is known in Arabic, is a weather system that generally lasts for between 3 to 5 days. The Arabic name means 50 and is based on the myth that you can expect 50 such days during the year. The weather system is based around a hot, dry, windy sandstorm that blows up from the desert across North Africa, Egypt and the Mediterranean area. This allows Israeli meteorologists to predict in advance when the weather system will cross Israel, and it allows tour guides and travelers to plan their activities accordingly.
A Sharav in the summer brings a more intense heat than normal, with strong easterly winds, and it often ends with a short rainstorm. Because of the sand in the air, the rain is dusty and leaves a muddy residue. But a Sharav in the winter is a real treat! It can bring several days of warm, sunny weather, ending with a dramatic rainstorm, sometimes including hail and thunder. Another feature of these dramatic desert weather systems is the stunning sunsets, with the light rays refracted by the dust in the atmosphere and the sun glowing red as it approaches the horizon.
If you suffer from asthma or breathing difficulties, it is important to tell your tour guide and arrange to avoid strenuous physical exertion during the dusty days of a Sharav. Experienced Israeli tour guides will know how to plan around a Sharav, making adjustments to your plans to include indoor activities when the weather is too humid or when storms occur.
Talk to Shatour Israel Experience about your next trip to Israel, so that you have a team of experts who can work together to adjust your itinerary and ensure you have a great time, whatever the weather!