Postcard from Jordan - snow storm - CMark {P}
We are SNOWED IN. A freak storm has meant it has been snowing here for the last 48 hours non stop. Yesterday at 11 am there was about 10 inches and I went out in the Jeep to go around the block to check the local roads and managed, with a little sliding
around, to complete several tours. However, I decided to go out again at 3 pm and got completely stuck on the road just 10 feet from the end of the drive. It took 45 minutes of strenuous digging to enable me to get the car back onto the drive. The snow by this time was about 15 inches deep. I also spotted that the limited slip diff on my rear axle is not working. Perfect time to find that out :-(

It snowed hard all night and most of the cars in the street just outside are now completely buried. I would estimate that about 2 and a half feet have fallen so far.

The whole of Amman has closed down. With only 6 inches fallen at 7 am yesterday morning all the embassies and schools decided to close. The airport remains open (we are told) as it is at a lower altitude and has no snow. The satellite TV doesn't work with snow on the dish so we are getting our news from the internet. Last night there was thunder and lightning with around 10 strikes within 1 mile of here. I never thought you could get lightning in a snow storm.

For the last hour or so some of the lights have been flickering intermittently which I assume is to do with the amount of snow hanging on the power lines. So if we get a power cut it will probably be a long one as the repair men cannot get to the fault. Amman does not seem to have any snow ploughs. I saw a bulldozer in the far distance clearing the main road but not our little side street. If the electricity supply fails then I think our heating will shut down. We do have plenty of emergency food supplies and cooking gas and fortunately we also have our ski clothes with us (as we were planning a trip to ski in Lebanon before the Iraq crisis began to loom) so we should not get too uncomfortable.

As I write this it has at least stopped snowing so it is out with the shovels again.

CMark
Postcard from Jordan - snow storm - Nsar
Got snowed in myself when in Jordan, in Petra. Most people seemed to cope OK but the favoured way of lighting your way through freezing fog with about 10m vis. was no headlights, just hazard lights on. What is it with fog lights? One country can't get enough of 'em, other can't stand them it seems. V strange
Postcard from Jordan - snow storm - volvoman
I was sent to Abu Dhabi just a few days before the Falklands war broke out and arrived to find much of the desert we were supposed to be surveying had been hit by freak rain storms. Many roads were simply washed away and we saw countless examples of where careless drivers had ploughed into the huge crevasses which had been created.

Mind you, by the time I left about a week after the war had been won, things were well back to normal with searing temperatures of 45-50 degrees. Phew !!!!!
Postcard from Jordan - snow storm - Steady_Eddie
Once got 3 days off school due to snow, problem was no TV because the electricity was off.
Postcard from Jordan - snow storm - THe Growler
Two places in my region I could almost guarantee I'd get stuck in anywhere between January and March: Istanbul, and Amman. One time the airport was so overflowing with stranded passengers in AMM that Alia started calling a few flights to clear the backlog.

After 3 hours on the ground in a creaky old 727-200, the Irish captain decided he would take a shot at getting off. Meanwhile ground staff were soaking the wings with de-icer. Two aborted take off attempts and we eventually got off on the third.

UPDATE - CMark {P}
The heaviest snow fall here in 50 years brought no powercut to us although some of my friends in the area were without electricity and heating for up to 24 hours (including the Jordanian Ladies Speed Test Champion).

I was the first one in our street out and about by 10:30 a.m. the next day, after a couple of hours of digging trenches down to the tarmac in the tricky sections (between the gateposts and parked cars). By this time the major routes had been made passable by the municipal fleet of bulldozers [1], I never saw a snow plough. Then followed a most exhilarating 7 hours of driving around, visiting still snow-bound friends and colleagues with emergency food supplies and pulling out other stuck vehicles including a huge 10x8 wheel-drive Nissan Diesel fuel truck which had got stuck making a turn.

The next day heralded crystal clear blue skies and everyone had their Egyptian gardeners digging out their Mercs [2] and the whole neighbourhood resounded to the sound of high revving engines and tyres scrabbling for grip. Driving around I saw lots of cars with broken engine under-trays and front spoilers and many flimsy carports have collapsed under the weight of snow onto the cars underneath, many suffering extensive damage.

The Jeep did superbly well even on its small 15 inch rims and without the rear "Trac-Lok" LSD working which I now gather is probably simply (and expensively) worn out after 85,000 miles and many off-road trips in soft sand. A new clutch pack is probably required. The Clio needs new wipers front and back, the snow sliding off its roof having broken the arms.

Everything is now getting back to normal but there is apparently another cold front on its way...

CMark
[1] these are the same vehicles who make their rounds through the suburbs grading the empty plots of land in September and October ploughing under the tinder-dry weeds and dry grasses to reduce the wild fire risk in BUAs.
[2] a "posh" Jordanian wouldn't be seen dead holding any kind of tool, let alone a common or garden spade.
UPDATE - Billy Whizz
CMark, a little birdy (who knows what he is talking about) tells me that it is going to warm up considerably where you are after March 10.

Now is the time to move to a more temperate climate.
;-)

good luck and have a nice flight,
Billy
These Colors Don't Run - THe Growler
CMArk I 'm sure you'll do as we did during the GulfWar and have the above obligatory t-shirts printed.

Is the Lebanese House restaurant at Jerash still going? I always used to make my sales manager treat me to lunch there overlooking the olive groves and the ruins. One of my all-time favourite restaurants. The other thing I remember fondly was those huge Bedouin mensefs, when everybody dove their hand into the cooked lamb with all that rice.

Motoring element: Mary used to drive a Fiat Argenta. How long since you saw one of those?....

UPDATE - CMark {P}
Billy,
I am one step ahead of you, mate! I've the tickets already and we're out of here tomorrow night!

CMark
UPDATE - THe Growler
Disappointing

 

Value my car