Monday, December 13, 2010

The Middle East has Moody Weather?!

Living and growing up in the Midwest of the United States, we always joked that the weather was moody. One day it would be warm, the next it would be cold. It would be a beautiful summer day and a huge thunderstorm came through mid-afternoon. It would seem as though Spring was here to stay and summer was on its way, then we would get hit by a snowstorm. The weather was something you needed to pay close attention to and prepare for as you couldn't predict what the day would bring.

Living in Jordan, I have not needed to pay attention to the weather. In fact, most people don't seem to care about the weather forcast. There aren't signs at every bank announcing the date, time and weather. Honestly, I rarely know what the temperature is...other than when I talk with my family who are living in the Midwest and they often ask me what the weather is doing over here. It is an interesting topic, never the less; however, the weather over the past 24 hours is an interesting topic being discussed all over Amman today!

Before two weeks, it felt as though summer would last all year in Amman. The temperature was still in the high 70's, beautiful summer blue skies, and hot sunshine. Peopleeverywhere were praying for rain, as this is normally their rain season. Then two weeks ago, the temperature dropped...dramatically. It became cool 50's with a cold wind. Inside the homes, this is a whole other story, one that Midwesterners don't believe until we live here. 50F outside means it is near freezing inside your home...and it is nearly impossible to warm the inside of your home as it built to keep the heat out. All the heat you put into your home is gone, due to the radiating cold coming from all four corners of your tile and cemented home.

In the last 24 hours, we had very interesting weather. It started with rain...lots of much rain it looked like rivers flowing down the mountain side. This lasted a few hours and was followed by about 12 hours of piercing cold wind. All of this wind started drying out the land. The wind continued at 40km/hour, the hillsides dried, and the sandstorm started! Wind and sand beating against the homes and windows. In some places they could taste the sand in their homes (even with their windows down and shutters closed) and the sand even managed to get in many of the homes. (Side note: This always rocks when you just cleaned and dusted your home!...ugh) Late last night the wind howlled, the doors and windows shook, and the thunderstorm started! Thunder and lightening through out the night. Sometime in the middle of the night, the wind stopped and the snow started! Depending on which part of Amman you live, depends on if you had standing snow this morning. We live on the highest point in Amman, so we woke up to 4-6 inches of snow this morning!

Recap: Intense rain, intense wind, sandstorm, thunderstorm, snow storm!...For my Midwestern friends who just experiences 14 inches during a huge blizzard, I know you are laughing at my choice of words, but for Jordan 4-6 inches of snow is considered a snow storm!

The kids and I got up this morning, got dressed quickly and played outside while I waited to hear if my work was cancelled for wasn't...but many of the schools were closed. I giggled to myself knowing that many of the Minnesota schools were open today despite the huge blizzard that just hit them. And I laughed with my girlfriend from work as she told me that she doesn't think there will be work today because she can't even walk outside due to all the snow. It's a matter of perspective.

Hope everyone survived the blizzard back home and I hope everyone here is keeping warm inside as we all brace ourselves for winter!


  1. Hi Beth, I was going to ask how long your winter season is there in Jordan? Here in the Minnesota it can be 4 to 6 months depending on the Mother Natures mood. Looks like we are going to be in the freezer for a long time. I love the pictures. It is fun seeing how you all are in Jordan. I did read alittle news blurb on the computer that there was very bad weather in your neck of the desert. Stay warm and be safe.
    Love Auntie Sharee

  2. SO fun to hear about the snow storm in Amman. Did you hear that the Metrodome in Mpls. couldn't hold the 14 inches of snow, and the roof collapsed?!?

    How did Aisha and Omar like playing in the snow? Is it melted already?

    Stay warm by putting on those flannel lined jeans. Now they will rock!

    Love you. Mom