Yesterday morning on the drive to school we debated about the weather. I thought it looked and felt like rain. My local friend begged to differ insisting that the sun would win out. He said, “I’m not ready for winter yet!” He definitely was not looking forward to breaking out the winter clothes. But we live in the Middle East right? It kinda sounded like a Floridian complaining about pulling out the wool sweaters as the temperature dips into the frigid 70s (21 C).
But Winter here actually does mean cold. And rain. If it gets cold enough it will even snow in the higher elevations. Last year it snowed a couple of times, but I never saw the white stuff because we don’t live in the right location.
Now, don’t get me wrong – it doesn’t get cold here like it used to get cold back in my hometown in Northern New York. But the average temps from November through February do drop into the 40s. In January and February the average lows even drop into the 30s. Again, not extremely cold – but cold enough to bundle up. And when you consider that most apartments and houses have tile floors and uninsulated cement walls – sometimes it’s colder inside the house than out during the winter!
Two sure signs that winter may come a little early in Amman this year:
- My local friend lost his bet on the sun overcoming the dark clouds – we had a huge downpour yesterday! (nothing like what the Philippines has been hit with recently – our hearts and prayers go out for so many who lost so much there)
- Last night’s low fell below 50F!
I had the good fortune of having my camera with me yesterday- here are a couple of vid clips. As you will see, some of the streets did seem a bit like rivers, or to use a phrase from my childhood – cricks.
Of course, a bit of early rain is welcome here in Jordan. Unlike the States where we sing songs like, “Rain, rain go away . . .”, rain is a very good thing here in this dry land. Fresh water is extremely scarce and the Kingdom relies on winter rainfall to replenish the aquifers and especially the reservoirs. Last winter there was very little rain and people were quite concerned. So much so that local Muslim leaders called for a special time of prayer asking for Allah to send rain. Christians did something similar in their churches. In the end it did rain a lot and the reservoirs were filled and people breathed easily.
So despite the unexpected and lengthy downpour yesterday that flooded roads, snarled traffic, and soaked a ton of umbrella-less pedestrians, many here are thanking God for the rain and hoping for a wet winter. I am too. And maybe a little snow to top things off. My son soaked me good last week in a water fight, so I owe him a really decent snowball down the back this winter.
Here’s a little bit of what a wet Amman looks like. Enjoy! (BTW – click on the thumbnails below to get a slightly bigger picture. If you want it even bigger, click on the second picture to get a full-size one.)