Tropical cyclone develops in the Arabian Sea

Rain affects southern Oman as cyclone tracks slowly towards the coast.

    Tropical cyclone 02A swirls ominously in Arabian Sea [NASA]
    Tropical cyclone 02A swirls ominously in Arabian Sea [NASA]

    A cyclone has developed in the Arabian Sea and is tracking towards the coast of Oman.

    Storms are fairly rare in the region, but they're not unheard of. If they do form in the Arabian Sea, they usually do so as the monsoon rains spread across the region, or when they retreat.

    This is why the majority of storms form in June or October.

    The strongest storm on record is Tropical Cyclone Gonu which struck in 2007.

    Al Jazeera's meteorologist Steff Gaulter was in Oman when the cyclone hit the coast, and described it as a scary experience.

    "We flew into Muscat and were trying to drive to Sur in the southeast, but the road was becoming more and more flooded. Eventually we could hear the water hitting the bottom of our vehicle and we realised we needed to get to safety and fast," Gaulter said.

    "Fortunately we happened to be near a village and took shelter in the school. There were a number of other families taking refuge there too, families whose homes had already been inundated by water.

    "It was pretty terrifying. The wind was howling at the windows and the rain was seeping through gaps in the window frames. The floor became flooded, the electricity went out and in another part of the school I could hear the panes of the windows smashing as the wind became stronger and stronger.

    "The next day, the village was knee-deep in water and many cars were stranded. Big chunks of the roads were washed away and people were just standing around staring. They couldn't quite believe what they were seeing."

    Steff Gaulter - Oman, 2007

    The current cyclone, however, is nowhere near as strong as Gonu. The sustained winds are only 65 kilometres per hour, and aren’t expected to become much stronger. The storm is also expected to peter out before it reaches Oman.

    However, there has already been some cloud and rain on the Omani coastline and this is expected to continue in some regions for the next few days. The seas will also continue to be dangerous, with waves of around three or four metres in places.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera


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