AMMAN — Rain and snow are expected Thursday as a depression and cold air mass converge on the Kingdom, the Jordan Meteorological Department (JMD) said on Wednesday.

The cold air mass and the depression, centred over southern Cyprus, will push temperatures well below average, according to the JMD.

The weather will be cold and cloudy on Thursday, with rain, hail and thunderstorms expected, particularly in the northern and central regions, meteorologist Raed Rafed said yesterday.

"Snowfall is forecast starting Thursday night over hilly areas in the northern region, extending gradually to the rest of the country. Temperatures will range between 10ºC during the day and 3ºC at night in Amman," he told The Jordan Times.

A further drop in mercury levels is expected on Friday, when the weather will be cold and cloudy, with rain, hail and thunderstorms expected in most of the country, according to the department.

"Snow is also expected on Friday over hilly areas in the Kingdom. Temperatures will be six degrees below their annual average during this time of the year of 12ºC," the weather forecaster said.

Temperatures tomorrow will reach a high of 6ºC and drop to a low of 1ºC in the capital, Rafed added.

On Thursday and Friday, winds will be southerly and brisk with strong gusts at times, according to the JMD, which warned against low road visibility due to strong winds raising dust in the south and east of the country.

On Saturday, the weather will remain chilly with chances of morning showers, but the impact of the combined weather conditions will taper off as of the afternoon.

Temperatures on Saturday will range between a maximum of 7ºC and a minimum of 1ºC, while on Sunday daytime temperatures will reach 9ºC with a night-time low of -1ºC in the capital, Rafed noted.

The department warned the public of possible flooding in the northern and central regions due to heavy downpours as well as low road visibility as a result of low-altitude clouds.

Meanwhile, the Greater Amman Municipality (GAM) on Wednesday announced a maximum state of alert in preparation for the extreme weather conditions and possible snowfall.

"All equipment needed for dealing with weather-related emergencies has been secured at two operation centres in Tlaa Al Ali and Ras Al Ain in Amman. Twenty-four teams will be working at the Tlaa Al Ali centre and eight in Ras Al Ain," Ahmad Khreisat, director of GAM's Road Maintenance Department, said yesterday.

In a statement issued by GAM, he urged residents to call the municipality at the following numbers in case of emergencies: 06/5359970  or  06/5359971