Weather: Jordan

Despite its location less than 160km/100 miles to the east of the Mediterranean, Jordan is a dry land. Only the western hills get an appreciable amount of moisture – as much as 800mm/32in in a few spots – though blustery showers and storms skim the eastern deserts a few times each winter. As in neighbouring Israel, the northwestern hills may pick up a snowfall or two each winter. In summer, the entire nation is sunny and rainless, with unrelenting heat in the desert that can spread west on khamsin winds. Temperatures as well as sultriness increase as you descend toward the Red Sea coast, more than 350m/1150ft below sea level.

Along the coastline, and in the Great Rift Valley that runs northward from the Red Sea and southward to Al Aqabah, summertime can be brutal. Low temperatures regularly hang above 26C/79F with high humidity to boot, and the afternoon readings, which normally top 35C/95F with ease, have been known to soar above 45C/113F in both July and August. The valley can sizzle even in mid-winter, although more often than not it's pleasantly cool.