Weather

• Many people very sensibly ask about the weather in Jordan. The easiest site I have found for a very quick check of what the weather is doing right now is the Jordan Meteorological Department one athttp://met.jometeo.gov.jo/. It gives current conditions for a number of towns, and a concise four day forecast. You would think that it would help, but since it takes average temperatures, it doesn't seem to all that much. When you are making plans, you should first of all remember that most of Jordan is high up, Amman is at 400 to 1000 m and Petra over 1000m. Given that the Dead Sea is below sea level

 (-400m) and that Aqaba is very warm, you will understand that there is a great difference in the temperature between one place and another. Here I am talking basically about the medium conditions, and you should remember that ALWAYS the Dead Sea and Aqaba are hotter and drier

• Summer is easy - it is hot everywhere. You can often find temperatures of 30-380°C in Petra; in that case, Wadi Rum and Aqaba will be higher! You cannot sightsee in Wadi Rum in these conditions, unless at night which is fantastic, everybody finds somewhere in the shade to sleep. You can start to move about again from about 5pm. Much the same in Aqaba, the beach is most unpleasant in the afternoon, and you would be risking sunstroke to try to stay in the sea for long, unless you are diving. If snorkelling, you might get away with it, but be sure to wear a T- shirt against a sunburnt back.

• Winter : this generally begins about the October, - and it is cold starting November. ! You can't expect much better than 10-15°C during the daytime, and this when the sun is shining. Snow is possible in January and February. Wadi Rum is also cold, not much less so than Petra. It invariably freezes at night, but the daytime isn't really too bad. But don't have any illusions, you will need a warm jacket, preferably waterproof, just about everywhere. Actually, the massifs of Wadi Rum in the snow are quite spectacular! Petra is as well, but usually in rain or snow, access to Petra is not allowed

Aqaba in the winter is the warmest place, but even here, high temperatures are unlikely to go over 20°C. The sea tends to be coldish. Aqaba is at the south end of Wadi Araba, there is invariably a good breeze to be felt, this turns into a lot of wind in the winter.

• Wind in Jordan, and especially in the desert areas, and around Petra, is sometimes unpleasant . On a number of occasions the Desert Highway has been closed because of bad visibility from the sand and dust. Driving in these conditions is not to be recommended


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