Temporal rainfall fluctuations in Israel and their possible link to urban and air pollution effects

Noam Halfon, Zev Levin, Pinhas Alpert

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In this paper we analyze spatial variations of the annual rainfall that have taken place in the non-arid regions of Israel (annual rainfall>200mm) during the years 1952-2006, incorporating all available data. The results of the present study over the research area as a whole indicate that no significant temporal change of the annual rainfall occurred in any region of the study area. However, focusing on spatial rainfall fluctuations between sub-regions in the study area, a significant increase was observed between the stations located downwind and those upwind of the Greater Tel Aviv region. This increase supports previous reports showing that rainfall enhancement is observed downwind (and close) to urban centers. In contrast to a few previous reports, no decrease in the ratio between the mountain precipitation to that over the coastal region was found. Over the period of the present study, the rainfall ratio between the upwind slopes and the seashore remained unchanged, with a slight increase in the central part of the country. The only hilly place where a slight decrease in annual rainfall was observed is the lee side (eastern slopes) of the Galilee Mountains. This result is important because the eastern slopes of the Galilee Mountains have for years been part of the target area for Israeli artificial cloud seeding for rain enhancement. The results therefore suggest that unless there was a pronounced change in the synoptic conditions during rain spells, seeding in Israel had no positive effect on rainfall amounts.

Original languageEnglish
Article number025001
JournalEnvironmental Research Letters
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2009


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