THE WEATHER IN BETHLEHEM (ISRAEL)
Bethlehem, the birth place of Jesus is situated in the West Bank a few miles from Jerusalem, Israel, if you are planning a trip to Bethlehem here is some information about the Bethlehem weather to help you decide when to go and what clothes to pack!
Being in the Northern hemisphere Bethlehem’s peak summer months are July and August and the peak winter months are late December until early February. In Israel and Bethlehem the summer and winter seasons dominate the year with only a brief autumn (fall) and spring when the weather is mild.
SUMMER WEATHER IN BETHLEHEM
From about early May through to late September Bethlehem has warm to hot weather and the humidity in Bethlehem drops into the 60% range, what this means in practical terms is that it feels hotter than it actually is but it is a dry heat. There are also more hours of sunlight in the summer due to daylight saving so you will be in the sun longer each day. In Bethlehem from May to September there is little to no chance of rain, (June, July and September 0% likelihood of rain) often the first sign of rain comes with the Jewish holiday of Sukkot in mid-September.
Occasionally there will be a brief hot rain fall after a particularly sweltering day. These extremely hot days are called Humsin in Israel and the dry dusty heat can be unbearable. In the early evening the heat breaks with a brief down pour. This is most likely in June and sometimes also April and May.
From June to September the lowest minimum temperature is 18C/64F (June) and the highest average maximum temperature is 31C/88F (August). The hottest month in Bethlehem is August.
WINTER WEATHER IN BETHLEHEM
The winter months in Bethlehem are from November to March and although it does get cold the Bethlehem winter weather is still warm compared to European winters. The reason Bethlehem – which is really in a desert – does have cold weather is because it is on a range of hills and at an elevation of 2,400 meters above sea level it. During the winter in Bethlehem humidity rises and in January – the coldest month in Bethlehem – humidity reaches an average of 73%.
The temperatures in Bethlehem in winter range from an average minimum of 7C/45F in January to an average high of 25C/77F in November and April. The evenings in Bethlehem are markedly colder than the daylight hours. January and December are the months when there is most likely to be rain in Bethlehem, Israel and they are also Bethlehem’s coldest months.
WEATHER AT CHRISTMAS TIME IN BETHLEHEM
Many tourists will want to visit Bethlehem at Christmas time and this important event over rides any considerations about the weather. If you are lucky you may experience a white Christmas in Bethlehem, although rare some years there is a light snow fall.
It is winter in Bethlehem at Christmas time and although snow does fall in Bethlehem it is not that common, the weather gets cold and there is frost in the early morning but snow, if at all is light. So if you are planning on attending the Christmas Eve midnight mass take along a coat and at any time during winter in Bethlehem you will need at least a light coat and an umbrella just in case.
BEST TIME TO VISIT BETHLEHEM
When planning a trip to Bethlehem take into account the weather. It is probably best to visit Bethlehem in the spring or autumn (fall) when the weather is the mildest and you can avoid hot summers and chilly winters. In August it is swelteringly hot and in the winter you have the threat of rain. No matter what season you visit Bethlehem be sure to take some warmer clothes for the evening when the temperatures tend to drop and the humidity rises. However at any time of year the weather in Bethlehem is not extreme and a visit to the cities holy sites is a once in a lifetime experience.