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Geography, Weather, & Wildlife of Jordan

Geography

Jordanian Geography - Dead Sea
Dead Sea

Jordan is a nearly landlocked country in the Middle East. To Jordan's west is Israel, to their south is Saudi Arabia, to the east Iraq, and to the north is Syria. Jordan's only water border is in the far south, where they touch the Red Sea; also in the country's west is the Dead Sea.

Jordan is fairly diverse geographically for a small country. In the west is the Jordan River and the Dead Sea, the Dead Sea's shores represent the lowest dry land on earth. Moving east from here most of the country is desert, some of which is rocky and other parts of which are simply flat. However, in the northern part of the country the hills and rivers maintain life as there is much greenery.

Weather

Jordanian Geography - Desert
Desert

Jordan's weather varies based upon the seasons and location you are within the country. Due to differing elevation changes, from the lowest spot on earth (the Dead Sea) to the higher land in the north-central part of the country conditions can be quite different.

The winter months, from December to February are warm to hot along the Red Sea coast and at the Dead Sea, with average temperatures of about 70° F (21° C) however Amman and parts of the desert, including Petra can get below freezing and can even encounter snow with a daily average of about 45° F (7° C). The summer, on the other hand is hot throughout the country (with average highs of about 85-100° F (30-38° C) and it can also be humid, especially along the Red Sea coast and at the Dead Sea.

The spring and fall (autumn) seasons aren't yet overly hot, but the north-central highlands around Amman, the deserts, and Petra tend to be the most comfortable.

Wildlife

Jordanian Geography - Petra
Petra

Jordan has a decent variety of animals, particularly considering the large desert covering much of the country's south and east. In this small country one can find numerous mammals, including horses, jackals, foxes, wolves, camels, rabbits, and many rodents. The sea life inland is very limited, especially considering the high salinity of the Dead Sea and hence the lack of life in it. However, in the Red Sea the sea life is very diverse. Part of this diversity is thanks to the coral reefs, which help attract starfish, crabs, shrimp, and hundreds of fish including sharks, eels, and pipe fish.

The bird life is also quite large given the fact that Jordan lies on the eastern side of the north-south migratory path. These resident and migratory birds include pelicans, spoonbills, egrets, terns, and gulls among others. There are also a fair number of reptiles in the country, particularly in the desert, however there are few amphibians.

This page was last updated: March, 2013