A rare winter storm on Thursday dumped up to 4 inches of snow in parts of Jordan, closing roads, schools and businesses.

The director of the state meteorology department, Abdul-Halim abu-Hazeem, said more snow was expected during the day in several areas of the kingdom.

Temperatures dropped below 0 degrees Celsius during Thursday's snowfall. Parents and children played with the snow around their houses while plows worked to clear Amman's hilly streets. Most banks and some government offices also closed in Amman within hours of opening Thursday.

An airport official said air traffic was unaffected by the storm, which contained winds of up to 50 mph.

Police spokesman Maj. Bashir al-Da'ajah said that approximately 100 traffic accidents were recorded on Thursday, including a Saudi bus that overturned near the northeastern city of Zarqa, injuring 12 passengers.

The Middle East is accustomed to mild winters, although big storms have occasionally battered the region. Last year, up to 1.6 feet of snow fell in western and northern parts of Jordan.

In 2004, Jordan received up to three feet of snow in what was described as the kingdom's worst snowstorm since 1950.