Syrian refugees in Jordan beware: Sub-zero temperatures, snow forecast for next week

By Hana Namrouqa – Jan 20,2016 – JORDAN TIMES

A Syrian refugee walks back to his family’s tent after collecting wood to be used for heating, at an informal tented settlement near the Syrian border on the outskirts of Mafraq, some 90km northeast of Amman, on Wednesday (AP photo by Muhammed Muheisen)

AMMAN — Extreme weather is forecast for next week, when a depression and a very cold polar front bringing snow will prevail, the Jordan Meteorological Department (JMD) said on Wednesday.

The depression and the polar front will start affecting the country on Saturday and continue until the end of the week, the JMD said.

“The combined weather condition will be strong. It will bring heavy rain, strong winds, sub-zero temperatures and accumulating snow to mountainous areas, including the capital,” JMD Director General Mohammad Samawi told The Jordan Times.

Temperatures during the depression will be between 2°C and 5°C during the day, and drop to between 0°C and -2°C at night in Amman, according to the JMD.

The depression will be centred over Cyprus, while the polar front will blow in from Eastern Europe, according to the JMD, which said that rain and a gradual drop in temperatures are forecast on Saturday.

Another drop in temperatures is expected for Sunday as the combined weather condition deepens, according to the JMD, which said that winds will be strong and will reach 65-75 kilometres per hour.

Heavy rain is forecast on Sunday, the JMD said, warning of possible flooding.

On Sunday morning, snow will start falling on the northern heights and by the afternoon, the central and southern mountainous areas will start receiving snow, the department said.

“On Sunday night, the country will be affected by another front, which will cause further drops in temperatures, heavier rain and heavy snowfall on areas located 900m above sea level and higher,” the department said.

Colder winds will blow towards the Kingdom on Monday, when snow will start falling on areas located 700m above sea level and higher, the department said, while areas located 600m above sea level will witness snow mixed with rain.

On Tuesday, the country will remain under the impact of the depression, with intermittent snow expected in areas located 700m above sea level and higher.

“Colder winds will prevail on Tuesday night and on Wednesday, which will cause mercury levels to further drop, in addition to rain and snow in mountainous areas as well as the eastern and southern desert,” the department said.

The JMD issued a group of weather-related warnings for next week, including flood formation in low-lying areas, strong winds, accumulating snow, reduced road visibility due to heavy rain and snow, slippery roads and freezing temperatures.

The Electricity Distribution Company (EDCO) on Wednesday announced a state of emergency as of next Saturday to deal with the weather conditions, the Jordan News Agency, Petra, quoted EDCO Director General Hassan Thneibat as saying. 

Thneibat said EDCO employees are not allowed to take leave during this period, noting that he has asked personnel to check on the preparedness of company vehicles to function in extreme weather. 

EDCO urged its subscribers to report power disruptions around the clock on 06/5001370 or the free line 080022288. 

Subscribers can also call emergency rooms in Karak on 03/2387219, in Tafileh on 03/2241004, Maan: 03/2132308, Wadi Musa: 03/2156050, Aqaba: 03/2012458, Jordan Valley: 05/3573111 and Azraq: 05/3835121.

Municipal Affairs Minister Walid Masri on Wednesday urged all municipalities to take the necessary precautions to deal with the expected weather conditions next week, Petra reported.

For its part, the Energy Ministry confirmed that the Kingdom’s stock of oil derivatives is enough to meet public and power generating needs, according to Petra.

The agency quoted the ministry’s spokesperson, Haidar Gammaz, as saying that the necessary measures to deal with the expected inclement weather have been taken, with the ministry opening an operations room to coordinate with companies working in the sector to ensure that households’ fuel needs are covered.

Ministry teams are also be monitoring gas stations and warehouses to ensure their readiness for next week’s snow.

Gammaz urged households to rationalise power and fuel consumption during the forecast weather conditions.

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