By Sarah Townsend
Storm unlikely to hit coast but Gulf still monitoring situation every three hours
Weather forecasters played down reports of a tropical storm brewing in the Arabian Sea this week, claiming it is unlikely to impact the Gulf.
The UAE, Oman and India were put on alert as a deep depression moved northwestwards across the Arabian Sea.
The UAE’s National Center for Meteorology and Seismology (NCMS) said on its website on Monday: “We are monitoring the situation every three hours as [the storm] moves westwards with wind speeds averaging 50km per hour.”
And Oman’s National Center of Meterology and Seismology issued a weather warning that stated: “The weather maps and satellite images show the existence of a deep depression in southeast Arabian Sea.
“It is centred about 1,250 kilometers from the coast of the Sultanate overlooking the Arabian Sea, and the range of surface winds around the centre of 28-33 knots.”
However, the area of low pressure was reported to have weakened throughout the day and a UAE forecaster told Gulf News there was no impact expected inland.
The NCMS forecaster was quoted as saying: “It’s not a storm; it’s only a normal depression at this moment in the west of India or east of Arabian Sea. That’s it.
“Anywhere there can be low pressure. A tropical cyclone or storm is another thing. A low pressure once it’s more developed becomes a depression, which can become a storm, then after that is a tropical cyclone.
“Now it’s still a low pressure. Right now, over Egypt there are low pressure areas but we cannot tell if they will develop into a storm right away,” the forecaster added.
At the time of writing, Oman’s meterology department still carried a weather warning on its website and the public was warned to “be on the lookout” in the seas around the tip of the UAE and further west to Qatar.
However, it was not thought that any tropical storm would reach the Gulf in the next 4-5 days.
Forecasters are continuing to monitor the situation every three hours, officials said.