Palestine has a semi-arid Mediterranean climate. It has two main seasons: A hot dry summer and a mild wet winter (see Fig. 3).
Fig. 3 The Jewish Calendar
It’s mild during the winter (November to April) when most of the rain falls, and extremely hot in the summer (May to October) when it’s also very dry. Barley and wheat ripen quickly in the spring and are ready to harvest by April or May. In the summer, it’s usually too hot to stand in the sunshine or work in the open, so palm trees or fig trees provide welcome shade.
It’s a dry country with few rivers that flow all year round – the notable exception being the River Jordan, which is fed in the spring and summer by meltwater from snow which has fallen on Mount Hermon to the north during the winter. The land becomes drier towards the east and south. Rainfall decreases eastwards from the Mediterranean coast towards the Syrian desert and southwards across the Judaean wilderness towards the Negeb desert.
The Judaean Wilderness near Masada