Tropical Cyclone heads towards the Middle East

The first storm of the season develops in the Arabian Sea and heads towards the Gulf of Oman.

Tropical Cyclone heads towards the Middle East
Tropical Cyclone 01A heads towards the Gulf of Oman threatening floods and damaging winds [Al Jazeera]

A tropical cyclone has developed in the Arabian Sea. It is the first one to affect the region this season and threatens to bring flooding rains and damaging winds into eastern Oman and the southeast of Iran by the end of the week.

The system, which is being referred to ‘Ashobaa’, developed into Tropical Cyclone 01A on Sunday. It is currently located around 750km south of Karachi, Pakistan.

It’s tracking northwestwards at around 15kph with sustained winds of 90kph and gusts approaching 120kph. It is expected to intensify and reach hurricane strength by 0000GMT Tuesday into Wednesday.

Current predictions suggest that it will peak shortly after that with winds around 130kph. Gust could touch 160kph before the storm weakens and heads towards the Gulf of Oman by the end of this week.

The strongest winds will be on the eastern flank of the storm and even though it will be well out to sea for much of its track, it is still likely to feed thundery, squally showers right along India’s Western Ghats.

Heavy seas and large surf could create dangerous shipping and swimming conditions right along the west Coast and into southern Pakistan.

By the time the storm approaches the Gulf of Oman the winds are expected to ease down to around 80kph with damaging gusts still around 100kph.

There is the threat of major flooding and precautions should be taken to deal with that possibility. However, once the system does make landfall it is likely to be short lived.

Tropical cyclones often dissipate very quickly when they make contact with the mountainous desert terrain.  The air is obviously extremely dry here, and as it gets drawn into the system it rapidly cuts off the supply of moisture fueling the storm.

Either way, it is currently a large and significant cyclone and as such should be monitored closely by any one like to be affected by it in the days ahead.

Source: Al Jazeera