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Delay in rainfall does not mean below-average rainy season — JMD

With no sufficient rain, dam storage being depleted, Jordan Valley Authority warns

By Hana Namrouqa - Nov 06,2016 - Last updated at Nov 06,2016

University of Jordan students walk under the rain in Amman in October last year. October's rain constitutes 2 per cent of the country's long-term annual average of rainfall (Photo by Amjad Ghsoun)

AMMAN — Seasonal weather charts forecast slightly lower precipitation by the end of this year, according to the Jordan Meteorological Department (JMD).

But the delay in rainfall and the expected lower precipitation until the end of this year is not an indicator that the country will witness a below-average rainy season, JMD Director General Mohammad Samawi said on Sunday.

“The late arrival of rainfall this year is not an exceptional occurrence, and it cannot determine the performance of the wet season, which lasts until May,” Samawi told The Jordan Times in a phone interview.

He underscored that rainfall during September and October make up only 2.5 per cent of Jordan’s long-term annual average of rainfall of 8 billion cubic metres.

“Our data indicate that over the past 95 years, the capital witnessed 18 wet season during which rainfall arrived late… however, performance of the rainy seasons was higher than to around average,” Samawi noted.

October’s rain constitutes only 2 per cent of the country’s long-term annual average of rainfall and 9 per cent of autumn’s rain, according to the JMD.

Rainfall during November usually makes up 10 per cent of Jordan’s long-term annual average of rain and 40 per cent of the rain of autumn, which the Kingdom usually receives as a result of multiple unstable weather conditions.

“Now, regarding our forecast for this wet season’s performance, the weather charts indicate that rainfall will be around its average by 70 per cent,” Samawi noted.

He underscored that data collected over the past 30 years, indicate that the southern region has always witnessed delayed rainfall, highlighting that the rainy season rarely arrives late in the northern region.

“Our station in Ajloun Governorate’s Ras Munif indicates that the rainy season started late only once during the past 30 years,” Samawi said.

Meanwhile, Jordan Valley Authority Secretary General Saad Abu Hammour said rain has arrived late this year compared to the previous one.

“By early October last year, the authority stopped supplying farms of citrus trees with irrigation water because rain arrived early, but right until now, we are still supplying citrus farms with water because of insufficient rain,” Abu Hammour told The Jordan Times.

He underscored that this has negatively affected water storage at the country’s dams, noting that they now hold around 95 million cubic metres of water of a total capacity of 325mcm.

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