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Motorists cautioned over slippery roads due to frost formation

By Mohammad Ghazal - Feb 20,2012 - Last updated at Feb 20,2012

AMMAN — The Civil Defence Department (CDD) on Monday cautioned motorists to be careful while driving, especially in the early morning hours when roads are slippery because of frost formation.

The CDD said it dealt with scores of weather-related incidents yesterday. 

It did not give figures on the accidents resulting from frost formation but said it dealt with a total of 220 incidents between Sunday and Monday morning that resulted in 154 injuries. 

One of the worst accidents reported by the CDD involved a collision between a minibus and a truck near Abu Alanda Circle in which 18 people were injured. 

They were taken to Al Quds and Al Hamaideh hospitals and were reported in moderate condition.

On Sunday night, the Greater Amman Municipality (GAM) sprayed salt on the capital’s main roads and hospitals entrances to prevent frost formation and thus protect motorists and pedestrians, according to a GAM statement.

Meanwhile, no crops were damaged in the Jordan Valley on Monday despite the frost spell that began on Sunday night, according to the Ministry of Agriculture.

“We did not receive any reports about crops sustaining damage as a result of the frost spell,” Ministry of Agriculture Spokesperson Nimer Haddadin told The Jordan Times yesterday.

However, Haddadin urged farmers to take precautionary measures as the Jordan Meteorological Department (JMD) has warned that the frost spell is expected to continue until Wednesday.

Frost warnings are issued when clear skies are coupled with temperatures near or below zero and southeasterly winds, according to the JMD.

“Farmers should be cautious as the frost spell is not over yet and they should take measures that alleviate the impact of freezing temperatures on their crops,” Haddadin said.

These measures include irrigating crops at night to increase soil temperature, closing greenhouses to keep the heat in, lighting fires to warm up the surrounding air and wrapping seedlings and tree trunks with sackcloth.

In January 2008, the Jordan Valley was hit by the strongest frost spell in 16 years, which damaged around 120,000 dunums planted with fruits and vegetables, resulting in JD9.3 million in losses. 

Meanwhile, the Karak and Ajloun education departments decided to delay school opening hours in the governorates from 8:00am to 9:00am, the Jordan News Agency, Petra, reported. Classes at Ajloun University will also start at 9:00am instead of 8:00am, according to its president, Ahmad Ayyadi.

Temperatures are expected to rise over the next three days, but it will remain relatively cold during the day and cold at night with southeasterly moderate to fresh winds, according to the JMD website. 

On Tuesday, temperatures will range between a high of 13ºC during the day and a low of 2ºC at night in Amman, while on Wednesday mercury levels will reach a maximum of 14ºC and drop to a minimum of 2ºC.

On Thursday, a further rise in temperatures is expected with an expected high of 16ºC during the day and a low of 6ºC at night, according to the JMD. 

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