Inaccurate and exaggerated claims of unusually cold weather in Jordan on May 5th

Akeed - Local news outlets published news reports about the expected weather conditions on May 5th, 2020, claiming that conditions that are unusual given the time of year were expected, which Akeed has confirmed to be inaccurate.

Akeed identified a news item which was circulated by local media outlets, as well as via Facebook and WhatsApp, accompanied by headlines such as “Rare, class 3 cold weather is coming to Jordan.” These reports were found to be characterized by exaggeration, as well as containing inaccurate information in violation of journalistic ethics.

Raed Rafid al-Khattab, Director of Weather Forecasts at Jordan’s Meteorological Department, told Akeed that the weather on May 5th is expected to be volatile rather than consistently low, accompanied by heavy rain. He said this was not unusual and had occurred in previous rainy seasons as well.

He added that instances of volatile weather are often accompanied by heavy rain in some areas of the country and that the Meteorological Department had issued a detailed forecast for the next four days.

Khattab emphasized that the rainy season lasts until mid-June in Jordan, and that extremely heavy rain had been recorded both in this rainy season and the previous one. The expected downpour, he said, is not the strongest of the season.

Akeed reviewed the latest forecasts from the Meteorological Department, which indicated a slight decrease in the temperature on May 5th, as well as some clouds at varying altitudes and light showers in parts of the north and center of the country.

The forecasts also showed that in the afternoon, the country will see volatile weather conditions where temperatures continue to decrease. The atmosphere is expected to become cool and cloudy. Rain is expected to fall heavily in parts of the country, particularly in the west, accompanied by lightning, thunder, and hail in some areas, leading to flooding in valleys and low-lying areas. Strong northwestern wind is also expected, accompanied by rain and occasional dust storms, especially in desert areas.

Akeed tracked similar headlines in previous years and found news articles with similar content, but the weather event in question was in mid-June of 2018. The articles were accompanied by headlines such as “Unusual cold weather on Tuesday.”