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Weather in Jordan

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Weather and Climate in Jordan

GEOGRAPHY AND CLIMATE

Jordan can be divided into three physiographic regions, each with a distinct climate.

1- The highlands comprise mountainous and hilly regions that run through Jordan from north to south. Several valleys and riverbeds intersect the highlands, such as Wadi Mujib, Wadi Musa, Wadi Hassa and Wadi Zarqa, all of which eventually flow into the Jordan River, the Rift Valley or the Dead Sea. The highlands are by no means uniform. Their altitude varies from 600 to 1600 meters (1969 - 5249 feet) above sea level, and the climate, although generally wet and cool, also varies from one area to another. It is in the highlands that we find the major remains of ancient civilizations in the cities of Jerash, Petra, Philadelphia (Amman), Madaba, Gadara (Umm Qais) Karak. And for much of the same reasons--abundance of water and strategic location--the highlands are the most densely populated areas today, encompassing most of the major cities of Jordan. Fruit trees, vegetables and cereals are planted in the highlands. The average temperature in Amman ranges from 8.1 degrees Celsius (46.6 Fahrenheit) in January to 25.1 degrees (77.2 Fahrenheit) in July.

2- West of the highlands is the Jordan Rift Valley, which also runs along the entire length of Jordan. The Rift Valley plunges to over 400 meters (1312 feet) below sea level at the Dead Sea, becoming the lowest spot on earth, and reaches a minimum width of 15 kilometers (9.3 miles). The Rift Valley encompasses the Jordan Valley (the Ghor in Arabic), the Dead Sea, Wadi Araba and Aqaba. The Rift Valley is rich in water resources, including thermal mineral water. A recreational spa, complete with luxury hotel, offers therapeutic treatment at Zarqa Ma’in, a deep gorge close to the Dead Sea with over 60 mineral springs. The valley is rich in agricultural land and is warm throughout the year. Apart from accommodating its largely farming population, the Rift Valley becomes the seasonal home for some bedou. The Rift Valley ends in the south at Aqaba, a tropical resort surrounded by mountains. Aqaba enjoys a warm, sunny climate throughout the year and is a tourist destination sporting some of the world’s most spectacular underwater life. The people of Aqaba have traditionally specialized in international trade. Aqaba is a regional port, and Jordan’s only maritime outlet. Average temperatures in Aqaba range from 15.6 degrees Celsius (60.1 Fahrenheit) in January to 32.5 degrees Celsius (90.5 Fahrenheit) in July.

3- The desert region in east Jordan is an extension of the Arabian Desert, and forms nearly two-thirds of the country. Not a true desert--there is low rainfall--it is rather a semi-arid, steppe-like region in which small plants survive in winter and spring. This region is home to the bedou of Jordan, the traditional sheep and goat herders who provide meat for the rest of the country. There is an extreme variation in the climate of the desert between day and night, and between summer and winter. Summer temperatures can exceed 40 degrees Celsius (104 Fahrenheit), while winter nights can be bitterly cold, dry and windy.

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