The Education Ministry’s “abrupt” decision to cancel school on Tuesday following the circulation of videos of snowfall in the south on social media drew public criticism.
The ministry published the announcement at 7:56AM, after many teachers and students had already left their homes to begin the school day at 9am, as per the government’s previous announcement on Monday.
“The decision did not consider those who left before 8am and waited in the cold for transportation, nor many of the students who left because their parents did not know about the decision,” Ahmad Ameer commented on the ministry’s official Facebook page.
“This decision should have been taken yesterday [Monday], as most students left and came back home. It was confusing,” another comment said.
Petra witnessed heavy snowfall early in the morning, according to a Facebook post by the Petra Development and Tourism Region Authority (PDTRA), which noted that the site was open to tourists as usual.
The PDTRA urged the public once more to contact the emergency numbers 0795108882 or 0788434563 to reach its main office, 032150012 for the southern district and 0799031999 for the tourist site, in case of emergency.
The Public Security Department also issued a statement on road conditions around the Kingdom, reporting several road closures in the south, which authorities are working to reopen.
The department urged the public to contact 911 in case of emergency and take precautions before driving during rainfall or on snowy roads.
While the Jordan Meteorological Department (JMD) forecast that the polar air mass would affect the whole Kingdom, the south felt the heaviest impact, as certain areas of Amman were mostly sunny or partially cloudy throughout the day.
Tafileh and Karak in particular witnessed heavy snowfall, with snow accumulating on roads, hills and residential areas. There was also lighter snowfall in mountainous areas in the north, according to JMD’s Facebook page.
The JMD forecast that temperatures will slightly increase on Wednesday, and will decrease slightly on Thursday.
The weather department added that Friday will be “very cold” and will bring heavy rainfall and thunderstorms in the west of the Kingdom with north-westerly brisk winds.
The JMD issued a warning of slippery roads and low visibility for the rest of the week, as well as possible strong gusts of wind during the day on Friday.