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Next week's snowfall to be less intense than originally expected — forecasters

By Hana Namrouqa - Jan 21,2016 - Last updated at Jan 21,2016

Shoppers check out of a hypermarket in Amman recently. The Trade Ministry on Thursday urged consumers not to overstock on supplies in preparation for the cold weather expected next week (Photo by Amjad Ghsoun)

AMMAN — The magnitude of a depression and a cold polar front forecast to affect the country on Saturday will be weaker than what was announced earlier this week, meteorologists said on Thursday.

"Changing weather charts indicate that the impact of the combined weather condition will be weaker," Raed Rafed, head of the weather forecasting section at the Jordan Meteorological Department (JMD), told The Jordan Times.

The JMD said on Wednesday that the depression and the cold polar front will be strong and bring accumulating snow to mountainous areas, including the capital. 

It had expected snowfall on Sunday morning in the northern mountains and by the afternoon, central and southern mountainous areas located 900m above sea level and higher would start receiving snow.

The department had also announced that by Monday night, snow would start falling on areas located 700m above sea level and higher, while areas located 600m above sea level would witness snow mixed with rain.

"New weather updates show that elevations of 1,000m above sea level and higher will witness snow on Sunday, while on Monday areas located 900m above sea level and higher will receive snow," Rafed said.

The weather forecaster underscored that snow accumulation will depend on the elevation of each area.

Arabiaweather.com Chief Meteorologist Omar Dajani confirmed the change in the expected magnitude of the depression and the polar front.

"The country is still going to be affected by the depression and, yes, it will bring rain and snow, but the strength, the timing and the expected accumulation of snow have changed," Dajani told The Jordan Times.

Dajani said snow is expected on Sunday at elevations of 900-1,000m above sea level, noting that by Sunday night and the early hours of Monday, the impact of the depression will ease off and intermittent snow is expected in areas located 1,000m above sea level and higher.

On Monday, southwesterly winds are forecast to become stronger, he added, noting that rain and snowfall will decrease.

"On the other hand, a new [weather] system is possible for Tuesday and Wednesday, which might bring more rain and snow to the Kingdom," Dajani underscored.

Both the JMD and Arabiaweather.com urged the public to follow their weather updates, highlighting that the forecast constantly changes.

The JMD expected temperatures during the depression to be between 2°C and 5°C during the day, and to drop to between -2°C and 0°C at night in Amman.

The depression will be centred over Cyprus, while the polar front will blow in from Eastern Europe, according to the JMD, which said that rain and a gradual drop in temperatures are forecast as of Saturday, when the impact of the combined weather condition will begin to prevail.

The JMD issued a group of weather-related warnings for next week, including flood formation in low-lying areas, strong winds, accumulating snow, reduced road visibility due to heavy rain and snow, slippery roads and freezing temperatures.

Authorities said they are ready to deal with the expected weather condition, urging motorists to exercise caution.

The Ministry of Industry, Trade and Supply said on Thursday it has provided bakeries with extra amounts of subsidised flour, covering their needs for five to seven days as of Saturday.

The Jordan News Agency, Petra, quoted the ministry's spokesperson, Yanal Barmawi, as saying that the ministry will be ready to provide more amounts if necessary.

 

Markets have a "big reserve" of food items, enough for two to 15 months, Barmawi stressed, calling on consumers not to overstock on foodstuffs because markets have enough amounts.

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