Jordanian Snow Rumors

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.


  • Very true!! The few days before a predicted snowfall are just plain crazy… since I don’t have major deadlines like I did the last time it snowed, I’m trying to chill and maybe enjoy it. My birthday is Monday though, and while my parents keep telling me we had snow for 8 days in a row when I was born, I would very much like my birthday to be sunny. Any chances Mohammad is mistaken this time?? I guess I’ll have to wait and see.

    Ah the suspense of living in Amman 🙂

  • “And for some funny reason, it seems people take pleasure in bad weather. “… it’s all about the day off; that’s the pleasure bad weather brings to the hearts of Jordanians! lol

  • I always wondered why do we call rainy and snowy weather “bad weather”? The only reason it’s bad I suppose is that some people don’t have the means of keeping warm. But in fact, if we don’t have “bad weather” we’ll have a “bad year”. Think of all the snow being absorbed by the soil and resurfacing in form of spring…

    Sadly, for a country where many people can’t get warm enough and where the government seems to choose to be blind to that fact and continues with the prices frenzy, I’d say let’s all join hands and sing: blame it on the weatherman.

    [Sorry for turning this into a shoo-betgool-like drama, couldn’t resist it]

  • boredom..thats why

    people are bored they even love it when an earthquake hits the land.

    routine is killing people and they welcome anything that can make their days differant

    and you cannot deny that the last storm gave birth to many snow artists 😀

  • “Also, every snow storm is the biggest to hit Jordan in 50 years. Every one”

    LOOOL so true! w LOOL at hajjaj “w sharaf u5ti sayakun il jaw gha2eman juz2iyan ila gha2em” lol ta5ayal such conversations going on in real..

  • “…developed faucet of Jordan’s public services”
    Did you mean, perhaps, ‘facet,’ instead of ‘faucet?’ Somehow the word ‘faucet’ is just not synonymous with anything in Jordan. When I think of a faucet here, I think of either a trickle of water, or no water at all. However, I do think that Jordan has some catching up to do in developing its public service ‘facets.’ Meteorology is a good place to begin. Next on my list would be the eradication of Tawjihi, the most dreaded ‘faucet’ of all.

  • mo: i was momentarily confused as to whether that was meant as an insult or as a clever observation. then of course i realised it was probably neither. but thanks for the input 🙂

  • Yes Snow brings happiness ………FREE Happiness when no one can afford anything nearly anywhere .
    The warmth and the high spirit that comes with snow storms have indeed a postive effect on Jordanian –Better known as the Moody Nation —

    Neverthless , Snow and Snowing and Snow Storms are becoming comfort pills that comes along.
    Just take the pill and enjoy the rest of the storm

  • As a university professor newly arrived from NYC, I have noted the delight my students take in bad weather, or the prediction of bad weather, including just rain. This provides an opportunity for them to leave class early, or not to come to class. There is a delicious tension in the air, going beyond the normal gossip and complaining about life on normal days. Therefore I don’t trust info about weather from students – cab drivers are the most reliable source for me. The online weather sites must be by the Dead Sea or airport, which is always tropical in comparison to Amman. The inclination to cease normal life, responsibilities and of course school or work is infectious. I used to teach in 10 feet of snow in New Hampshire as no big deal, but here my students can convice me to end class if it just rains hard. Maybe Jordanians expect life to be perfect, and when it’s not, they won’t play. Or, they are so used to imperfection. problems, and difficulties they give in easily, resigned to their fate – with glee!

  • A year later ..this post becomes relevant ..the word “snow” has meant absolutely nothing to me for 7 years

    anyone knows what happened to the snow predicting genius ?

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