As opposed to what many people think, it can get really cold in Winter in Jordan. Yes, generally Jordan has a pleasant weather most year round. With Summers not too hot and very low precipitation, Jordan has a great climate for visiting and living in. The low humidity make even warmer days manageable. For Travelling March to June and September to October are perfect.
However, before spending time in the Winter in Jordan, be prepared. There is a couple of things you should know. So if you plan to travel to Jordan or live in Jordan, read on.
Does it get Cold in Jordan?
While on the temperature scale it might not seem like this, it can get really cold in Winter in Jordan. Average temperatures are around 13 degrees Celsius. January is the coldest month of the year. While certain places like the Dead Sea, Aqaba or Irbid always a bit warmer than the capital, most people do live in Amman. So what’s the problem?
The city is built on hills and therefore elevated somewhere between 800 and 1000 meter. Usually the wind blows from the West. But the biggest issue is the bad building quality, bad isolation and inefficient heating systems in general. Most people heat with Diesel. Very few have a modern gas heating like in Europe. Some people, who don’t have a central heating system, use portable gas heaters to warm the rooms they are using.
You should at all costs avoid using the AC inverter for heating. If you keep them running on a daily basis during Winter days, your electricity bill will sky-rocket. But even with heating on, windows and doors closed, we found ourselves sitting in thick sweatshirts and blankets inside the home. Sometimes outside seems warmer than the inside of an apartment. That is especially true if you are on a rooftop, or are otherwise exposed to strong wind. Further negative factors are empty apartments in your building, so you won’t benefit from other floors heating around you. So, buy yourself some carpets, close the doors and windows and have a hot drink.
In other parts of the country you also have to expect a typical desert-like weather. That means while you might have moderate temperatures during the day, but it might get freezing cold during nights. So, make sure to pack warm clothes including a warm hat, thick sweatshirt and jacket for your tip to Wadi Rum, The Eastern Desert or you hike on the Jordan Trail.
Does it rain in Jordan?
The short answer is yes. But then you might not see any rain for more than six or seven months. Jordan is one of the driest countries in the world. The average rain fall is less than 200mm per year. While it is usually the same blue sky from May to November, around mid of November temperatures drop. From this time until March or April, also rain is more likely. It usually doesn’t rain constantly for three days in a row but even lower amounts can have a big impact on everyday life in Jordan. And if it does rain a bit more, than expect the worse.
The canalization system and streets are not made for a lot of rain. Roads are extremely slippery and sometimes water levels rise very quickly. Roads and even basements get flooded. 2018 had extreme flash floods were several people in Petra died and more than 4000 visitors were evacuated. Another dramatic flash flood at the Ma’in Hot Springs area cost more than 25 pupils and their teachers their live. In January 2018 and again in March 2019 it rained so much in a short time that several shops and the place in front of the Roman Theater were totally flooded. There were also pictures shared about cars swimming away, and hole parts of streets braking away. Even Aqaba saw some really bad weather and floods in 2020.
In order to avoid any risk, you should always watch the weather warnings and follow public media, especially in Winter. Warnings of flash floods should be taken seriously, as they can impose a life threatening risk. Never go hiking in the Dead Sea Valleys in Winter, after rainfall. The water can also travel long distances and might end up in the narrow canyons regardless where the rain fell initially. This all happens so fast, that usually there is not time to escape. You don’t want this to happen while in a narrow valley.
Does it snow in Jordan?
Once every few years it also snows in Jordan. This can be across the country including places like Wadi Rum. Of course it is more likely in Amman due to its elevation. 2013 saw a lot of snow and also 2015, I believe. In 2018 Amman had heavy snowfall over Christmas and February 2021 we experienced about 15 cm snow in just 2 days. But it was gone as quickly as it came. But it was enough to build a snowman with the kids.
When it does snow in Jordan, usually people get very excited as it does not happen so often. And since the streets and water systems are not made for this type of weather, the day or even days usually turn into a public holiday. Lots of people cannot go to work. Schools are off. We would not even be able to get our car out of the garage and up to the street. And even if, we would probably just slide around. I can really only urge you to stay at home, and don’t attempt to drive in snowy Amman, as you are very likely to have an accident otherwise.
Keeping all of the above in mind, we had already nice excursions to Jerash on a December day or were hiking in Pomegranate Valleys in November. Anyway, just be aware and don’t expect Jordan always to be super hot. The Dead Sea is usually a great escape from the cold, even in January.