The heavy rain pouring down Jerusalem streets this morning made me think about how visitors to the holy city in the winter time should prepare for the trip. Chances are you’ll be leaving a bitterly cold climate in the eastern US or Europe and landing at Ben Gurion airport near Tel Aviv on the Mediterranean in the sunshine.
That’s true on many winter days, but not all. Israel does get its share of wintry weather between December-March and it pays to be prepared. In Jerusalem, temperatures may drop to the low 40s, especially at night. There are days, like today, when a steady rain and grey skies dominate, and the streets are not made for the amount of runoff. So, your main piece of indispensable equipment should be waterproof shoes or boots. A hooded light jacket will serve you better than an umbrella, since most rainy days are also windy.
There are plenty of sunny, cool days in the winter that are perfect for touring, however, so don’t forget the sunshades and layered clothing…and if you’re planning on heading down to the Dead Sea, be aware that the grey skies and rain stop almost the minute you drive east out of Jerusalem through the Judean desert and down toward Jericho and the Sea.