During the summer months, approximately from June to September, Amman experiences high temperatures, reaching up to 40°C in the city center. Despite the heat, it is a dry warmth, seldom causing discomfort, and the hills provide some relief with cooler breezes. However, the Dead Sea and Aqaba can be exceptionally hot, with temperatures surpassing 45°C. Aqaba, in particular, faces an oppressive hot wind that can feel like being exposed to a fan-assisted oven. The intense, hazy light during this season flattens the brown landscape and diminishes the beauty of the desert. Following the locals' lead, it is advisable to use the period between noon and 3 pm as a time to rest indoors in the cool environment.
In winter, spanning from approximately December to February, Amman can become extremely cold, experiencing brisk winds that sweep through the valleys, occasional rain showers, and even snowfall. Despite the chilly conditions, the sun remains in proximity. The winters in Petra can be challenging due to short days and freezing nights, with recorded lows reaching as extreme as -8°C. Wadi Rum is relatively milder, while Aqaba serves as a delightful escape, offering sunshine and warmth even in the heart of January. Both the Red Sea and Dead Sea maintain a consistently balmy water temperature of around 24°C throughout the year. Although January stands out as the coldest month, by February, the weather begins its transition towards a more pleasantly warm state.
Typically, Jordan experiences a transitional period in the fall, spanning from mid-September to mid-November. This time frame marks the gradual departure from the high summer temperatures, offering a few weeks of pleasant weather. For those fortunate enough to witness this shift, it can be an ideal time to visit. The initial rains, arriving in early to mid-October, bring life back to the parched countryside and bring temperatures to more comfortable levels. From a tourism perspective, autumn in Jordan represents another peak season. The intense summer heat gives way to agreeable warmth, and by the latter half of September, the sea waters cool slightly, reaching around 25°C (77°F) by the season's end. This temperature is particularly appealing due to its cooling effect. In November, cities and towns in the central part of the country experience temperatures around 20°C (68°F) with occasional drizzle. However, the Dead Sea coasts are noticeably warmer and drier, boasting temperatures of 27°C (81°F). Despite the seasonal shift, the daily temperature range remains quite wide, ranging from 7°C in the northern regions to 15°C in the southern lands.
The optimal time for a visit is during spring, from March to May, when temperatures are warm but not excessively hot. The landscape is adorned with wildflowers, even in the desert where a vibrant carpet of blooms emerges. The hills and valleys along the country's center become lush and display stunning colors. While the bulk of the rainfall concludes in March, it continues in Amman and the hills until late April. The humidity remains pleasant, and the low, clear sunlight illuminates the desert rocks, creating a magnificent array of color and texture. There is, however, one drawback – a desert wind, laden with dust and grit, blows consistently each spring or early summer from the Arabian interior. This wind is known as the khamseen ("fifty") across the Middle East, signifying the traditionally believed fifty days it persists (though in Jordan, it rarely lasts more than a few days). It has the potential to darken the sky and elevate temperatures by 10°C, coating everything and everyone in a layer of sand.