I think the only thing possibly worse than that chaos associated with actual snow in the country are those few days leading up to a potential snow fall, when everyone is talking about it. The topic is so dominant in everyday conversation that the war and conflict which surrounds us is rendered insignificant. Weather information isn’t the most developed facet of Jordan’s public services, a point which is highlighted every time a snow storm is preceded by predictions of sun shine. Still, Jordan TV and various radio stations find a way to turn the science of meteorology into the fortunetelling makings of a game show. A long list of experts are brought in, each with an opinion. Meanwhile, people continue to talk and talk with little action being taken. No one really prepares until the weather becomes too obvious to ignore.
And for some funny reason, it seems people take pleasure in bad weather. Maybe we take some sort of pleasure in the predictability and historical reliability of things always getting worse before they get better. Why should weather be any different to the conflicts that surround us? On the third day of the last snow fall, when the storm had passed, people were still constantly predicting another storm that was supposedly harder, faster, better, stronger.
Also, every snow storm is the biggest to hit Jordan in 50 years. Every one.
Regardless of who you are, it is incredibly tough not to engage in these discussions. They are just the center of attention. The elephant in the room that everyone has to talk about. And everyone’s an expert.
A large snow fall has been “predicted” for this week, and as usual, the rumor mill is spinning out of control.
Mohammad Al-Shaker is one person who has been receiving some media attention after accurately predicting the last snow fall, it’s time and places, when the Jordanian government couldn’t. You might have heard the name if you listen to Mohammad Al-Wakeel’s radio broadcast. Al-Shaker, who is only 20 years old, has been praised for his accurate weather forecast. He’s studying to be a pharmacist at Amman Ahleeyeh, but meteorology has been his hobby since he was a kid and is completely self-taught.
There’s something to be said about a 20 year old guy, with weather forecasting as a hobby and a little website, who can outdo the Jordanian government in accurately predicting when it’ll snow or rain or shine.
And I suppose there’s some humor to be found in the fact that his site, which I assume is relatively new, has received that many hits compared to the Jordanian Meteorolgical Department’s just over 3 million hits.
At this point, everyone, including Mohammad’s site, is predicting snow for Monday and Tuesday.
So everyone, go buy canned goods.
Ze Germans are coming.