Israel, known as a country with plenty of sunshine, its climate ranges from temperate to tropical. Regional conditions vary considerably, with humid summers and mild winters on the coast; dry summers and moderately cold winters in the hill regions, hot dry summers and pleasant winters in the Jordan Valley; and year-round semi-desert conditions in the Negev. Two distinct seasons predominate: a rainy winter period from November to May; and a dry summer season which extends through the next six months. Rainfall is relatively heavy in the north and center of the country, with much less in the northern Negev and almost negligible amounts in the southern areas. Weather extremes range from occasional winter snowfall at higher elevations to periodic oppressively hot dry winds which send temperatures soaring, particularly in spring and autumn.