Recent changes in the rain regime over the Mediterranean climate region of Israel

Ron Drori, Baruch Ziv, Hadas Saaroni*, Adi Etkin, Efrat Sheffer

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Previous observational analyses have shown a declining rainfall trend over Israel, mostly statistically insignificant. The current study, for the period 1975–2020, undermines these findings, and the alarming future projections, and elaborates other ingredients of the rain regime. No trend is found for the annual rainfall, reflecting a balance between a negative trend in the number of rainy days and a positive trend in the daily rainfall intensity, both on the order of 2.0%/decade. In the mid-winter, the rainfall and the daily intensity increased, while both declined in the autumn and spring, implying a contraction of the rainy season. The time span between accumulation of 10% and 90% of the annual rainfall, being 112 days on the average, shortened by 7 days during the study period. This is also expressed by an increase of the Seasonality Index, indicating that the regional climate is shifting from “markedly seasonal with a long dry season” to “most rain in ≤3 months.” The intra-seasonal course of the rainfall trend corresponds to that of the occurrence and intensity of the Cyprus Lows and the Mediterranean Oscillation. The contraction of the rainy season and the increase in the daily intensity have far-reaching environmental impacts in this vulnerable region.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number15
JournalClimatic Change
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Jul 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021, The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Nature B.V.


  • Cyclonic Activity Index
  • Cyprus Lows
  • Daily rainfall intensity
  • Drying
  • Effective length of the rainy season
  • Long-term trend
  • Mediterranean Oscillation Index
  • Seasonality Index


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