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