AMMAN — A slight drop in temperatures is forecast for Friday, when the heatwave that left scores of neighbourhoods without electricity for a second day in a row on Thursday was expected to abate, meteorologists said.
The heatwave, which started affecting the country on Tuesday and peaked on Thursday, pushed temperatures 10 degrees above their annual average during this time of the year, according to the Jordan Meteorological Department (JMD).
The hot spell was caused by a seasonal hot air mass affecting the Arabian Peninsula, accompanied by hot and dry northeasterly to northwesterly winds.
"Temperatures in Amman reached 42ºC today, while the highest temperature was recorded in Safawi in the eastern desert, reaching 45ºC," JMD Director General Mohammad Samawi told The Jordan Times on Thursday.
Samawi said that the heatwave will start to subside as of Friday, when the maximum temperature was expected to drop by five degrees. The weather, however, will remain hot and dry.
On Friday, daytime temperatures will reach 37ºC, dropping to 24ºC at night in Amman, while winds will be northwesterly moderate, turning brisk at times in the afternoon and raising dust in the southern and eastern regions of the Kingdom.
"A further two-degree drop in temperatures is expected on Saturday," Samawi said.
Mercury levels on Saturday and Sunday will range between a high of 35ºC and a low of 22ºC in the capital.
"A new heatwave will affect the country on Monday, but it is expected to be less intense," Samawi said.
Thursday's scorching weather raised loads on the power grid, prompting the National Electric Power Company (NEPCO) to carry out scheduled power cuts for a second day in a row.
Households and private and public institutions suffered electricity outages on Thursday that caused servers and computers to shut down.
"Productivity today is almost zero,” Mohammad Al Haj, marketing and operations director at a shipping company located near the Seventh Circle in west Amman, said on Thursday.
"All servers, computers and telephones shut down, and the heat in the office was unbearable. We had to let employees leave work early."
NEPCO officials were unavailable for comment despite several attempts by The Jordan Times to reach them.
Ghaleb Maabreh, the company's director general, told the Jordan News Agency, Petra, on Wednesday that scheduled power cuts were being implemented to cope with the unprecedented surge in the electricity load.
Maabreh noted that the load reached 2,770 megawatts (MW) on Wednesday, approaching the power grid's maximum capacity of 3,000MW, but said all power cuts will end when the holy month of Ramadan begins, during which electricity loads drop by 150 megawatts.