Climate and Environment of Lebanon

Climate and Environment of Lebanon Last updated on Wednesday 21st April 2010

Lebanon has a fertile coastal plain, where most of the population lives, with a mild Mediterranean climate making it rainy in the winter. The soil is very fertile because of rich alluvial deposits. Along the coast, a dry bush known as maquis grows, while vineyards, and wheat, olives, and oranges are cultivated. Cedar has become a national symbol. The Cedar wood was used in building the Phoenician fleet and temples; nowadays there are only little over 400 cedars left, ranging in age between 200 and 800 years old. The war has had disastrous consequences on the environment, causing soil erosion and loss of vegetation.

Lebanon has a Mediterranean climate -- hot and dry summers and cool, rainy winters. The sun shines 300 days a year. The annual rainfall on the coastal plain is around 35in, and more than 50in in the mountains. Humidity is high along the coast in summer and daytime temperatures average 30°C with night temperatures not much lower.

Beirut in summer becomes a commuter society as families move to the mountains to enjoy the cool dry climate. Winters on the coast can be dry and mild one day and wet and chilly the next.

Winter daytime temperatures average 15°C. In the mountains summer daytime temperatures average 26°C and the nights are pleasantly cool. Winters are cold and it snows at the higher elevations. The snow ensures good skiing from December through April.

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