Lebanon Weather and Climate
Lebanon is located on the eastern shore of the Mediterranean. It is bordered by the sea to the west, Syria to the north and east, and Israel to the south. Its surface area is officially 10,400 square kilometers, but small parts of the borders with Syria and Israel are disputed.
Lebanon is one of the smallest countries in the region, even smaller than Qatar. Compared to its immediate neighbors, the country is roughly half the size of Israel and almost 18 times smaller than Syria. The coastline is 225 kilometers long, the country’s national borders are 454 kilometers, of which 375 kilometers with Syria and 79 kilometers with Israel.
Administratively, the country is divided into eight governorates (Muhafazat): Beirut, Lebanon, North Lebanon, South Lebanon, Nabatieh, Beqaa, Baalbek-Hermel and Akkar. Each governorate is headed by a muhafiz (governor) and is divided into districts, qadas (cazas or aqdiya).
Lebanon consists of a sometimes extremely narrow coastal plain that borders on an imposing mountain range, the Lebanon Mountains (Jabal Lubnan or al-Jibal al-Gharbiya, 240 km long, which extend almost the entire length of the country) and further east, the Antilebanon Mountains. The highest peak is Qurnat al-Sawda (3,088 meters) in the northern part of the Lebanon Mountains. The famous cedars of Lebanon grow on the western flank of this peak.
The Lebanon chain is separated from the Anti-Lebanon Mountains (Jibal Lubnan al-Sharqiya) by the fertile Beqaa Valley, which is approximately 180 kilometers long and 10 to 26 kilometers wide. The Litani, the main river of the Lebanon, flows through this valley and reaches the Mediterranean Sea near the city of Tire (Sur) in the southwest. In the southeast the Beqaa valley becomes hilly and fits into the foothills of Mount Hermon (Jabal al-Sheikh, 2814 m), the highest part of the Anti-Lebanon Mountains.
The official language of the country is Standard Arabic and the native language Lebanese Arabic, which is similar to (but indistinguishable from) the Arabic of Syria, Jordan and the Palestinian territories. Almost all Lebanese understand standard Arabic, but can answer in Lebanese Arabic.
Climate in Lebanon
The Lebanese climate is typically Mediterranean, with heavy rainfall in the winter season (January to May) and dry conditions in the remaining 7 months of the year. The influence of the Mediterranean, the topographical features, as well as the Syrian desert in the north create a variety of climates within the country with different temperatures and precipitation distribution.
The average annual temperature is around 20 degrees on the coast (from 13 degrees in winter to 27 degrees in summer), 16 degrees in the Bekaa Valley (from 5 degrees in winter to 26 degrees in summer) and less than 10 degrees in the mountainous areas (from 0 degrees in winter to 18 degrees in summer).
The average annual rainfall is estimated at around 800 mm and varies between 600 and 900 mm along the coastal zones to 1,400 mm on the high mountains and decreasing to 400 mm in the eastern parts and less than 200 mm in the northeast. Rainfall occurs 80 to 90 days a year, mainly between October and April.
When is the best time to travel to Lebanon?
As the only Arab nation that experiences all four seasons, Lebanon is truly a travel destination that offers exciting highlights all year round. Deciding which season to choose depends almost entirely on your own interests and priorities. Basically the dry summer months (June – September) are the best time to travel to Lebanon for many holidaymakers, but it can also be very hot and humid on the coast with temperatures above 30 degrees.
Spend the days at the pool or on the beach, enjoy the sun and the unique atmosphere of the mild summer evenings in Lebanon. On some days, however, it can also be oppressive and uncomfortable, so that a retreat into the mountains could provide some cooling. The mountains offer a range of outdoor activities such as hiking, rafting, trekking and mountain biking. Summer is also the main season for the annual Lebanese art and culture festivals such as those in Baalbek, Beiteddine, Broummana, Byblos and Tire.
From October it will slowly get cooler, but also more humid. Between the end of October and the end of March, 90 percent of the annual rainfall in Lebanon falls. One could almost speak of a real “rainy season”, especially the time around New Year’s Eve and the first half of January are uncomfortably wet in most years.
Temperatures, precipitation, sunshine in Beirut (Lebanon)
|Daytime temperature||18 ° C||19 ° C||21 ° C||24 ° C||28 ° C||31 ° C||32 ° C||33 ° C||31 ° C||29 ° C||24 ° C||19 ° C|
|Night temperature||11 ° C||11 ° C||12 ° C||15 ° C||18 ° C||21 ° C||23 ° C||24 ° C||23 ° C||20 ° C||16 ° C||13 ° C|
|Water temperature||17 ° C||17 ° C||17 ° C||18 ° C||21 ° C||24 ° C||27 ° C||27 ° C||28 ° C||25 ° C||22 ° C||19 ° C|
|Precipitation in mm||191||133||111||46||15||2||0||0||2||60||101||164|
|Hours of sunshine||5||6||6||8||10||12||12||11||9||8||7||5|
The average annual temperature in Beirut is 21.5 ° C. For comparison: Munich reaches an average of 8.6 ° C, in Berlin it is 9.6 ° C. The warmest month is August (28.3 ° C), coldest month of January with mean values of 14.5 ° C. The maximum water temperature in Beirut is 28 ° C. Comfortable bathing is possible at these temperatures. All months have a water temperature of at least 17 ° C. Bathing is then possible to a limited extent. The months of May, June, July, August, September, October and November have a water temperature of at least 21 ° C and are therefore suitable for a beach holiday.
The annual precipitation is 825 mm on 68 days with precipitation. For comparison: In Munich, 967 mm, in Berlin 570 mm, precipitation is measured annually. The January is considered the rainy season, since in this month are expected to more than 175 mm of rainfall. You cannot expect snow in any month in Beirut.
As our climate table shows, June is the sunniest month with an average of 12.1 hours of sunshine per day. On average over the year the sun shines for 8.2 hours per day. For comparison: In Munich and Berlin, the sun shines an average of 4.7 hours per day throughout the year.
The following larger towns are nearby and have a similar climate: Ra’s Bayrūt, Sidon, Zahlé and Tripoli.
Sights & attractions
Lebanon is a country rich in natural landscapes from beautiful beaches to mountains and valleys. The Lebanese pride themselves on the fact that Lebanon is one of the few countries where you can ski in the morning and go to the beach in the afternoon. Keep in mind that this is only possible for a few days a year, usually the few days when winter turns into spring and / or summer into fall.
Visitors from all over the world marvel at the beautiful city center of Beirut. On the Place de l’Etoile, tourists can enjoy a delicious meal or a cup of coffee in the street cafes. In addition to these, the capital has other restaurants and hangouts that people of all ages can enjoy. There are many nightclubs, bars, cafes, and restaurants that cater to a variety of styles and budgets. The Roman temple in the city of Baalbeck is one of the largest and most beautiful Roman ruins.
Archaeological dig site Al Bass, Tire (Sauer), a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the largest and best preserved Roman archaeological sites in the world. The place consists of a huge necropolis, a huge monumental arch that leads to a Roman road that is home to an excellent example of an aqueduct, as well as the largest and best preserved Roman hippodrome. The Jeita Grotto was nominated as one of the new seven natural wonders of the world. Jeita Grotto is the jewel of tourism in Lebanon and offers incredible impressions in two impressive grottos.