A tropical storm could hit Oman and Yemen at the end of this month, an international weather bureau predicted this week.
According to the UK-based Directorate General of Meteorology and Air Navigation (DGMAN), landfall of a cyclone is forecast to strike the coastal region of the two countries on May 29, UAE daily Gulf News reported on Wednesday.
“We are in preparedness,” an official told the newspaper, which also cited a report by the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF), predicting the onset of this year’s monsoon could feature a cyclone in the west Arabian Sea.
“The system is forecast to develop in the west central Arabian Sea and is expected to make a landfall over the Yemen/Oman coast around May 29,” a forecast said on Monday, adding its onward movement would echo that of Cyclone Gonu, which devastated the coast of Oman in June last year.
Landfall is when a cyclone moves over land after being on water, causing the core of strong winds to come on shore and heavy rains to move over land. In contrast, a ‘direct hit’ is where the core of high winds comes onshore but the centre of the storm stays offshore.
The cyclone itself was not forecast to hit the country, although “there clearly is still some potential for this to happen”, an ECMWF official told Gulf News.
Cyclone Gonu wreaked havoc on Oman in June, battering its coast for three days and killing around 50 people. It halted oil and gas exports, damaged main roads and bridges and caused floods and landslides across the country, costing the economy almost $4 billion.