x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 July 2017

UAE weather bureau monitors Tropical Storm Nanauk headed for Oman

The National Centre of Meteorology and Seismology says Nanauk could affect the Emirates, depending on its track and wind speed.

A strong cyclonic tropical storm is expected to hit the coast of Oman in the next few days, according to the National Centre of Meteorology and Seismology.

The storm, called Nanauk, is unlikely to affect the UAE over the next four days.

“This phenomena has stages,” a spokesman at the centre said. “It originates from south-west India and it needs warm water, about 30°C to 32°C, as well as a large area of water such as the Indian Ocean or the Arabian Sea.”

Latest satellite imagery and weather reports indicate that the tropical storm had formed at latitude 16.7 N and longitude 67.0 E, and is currently about 960 kilometres southeast of Masirah Island in Oman. “The storm takes time to form and gather intensity and strength,” he said. “The warm water is its main energy, like fuel for an engine, so once it forms, it moves west and twists around itself like a cyclone.”

With a surface speed estimated at 70kph to 90kph, the storm is expected to intensify further in the centre of the Arabian Sea on June 12 and 13. It is expected to hit Oman between Alhadd and Ras Madrakah, a day later. “If the wind speed exceeds 34 knots, then we will start to monitor it closely over the Arabian Sea,” said the spokesman. “We monitor it even before it reaches that point and forms, but we will pay closer attention if it gains strength.”

Although weather predictions do not show the storm hitting the UAE in the next few days, the centre said it would issue a warning should the situation shift.

“Until now, we cannot see a direct influence or effect on the UAE but there could be if the wind gets stronger,” he said. “If that happens, we will issue a warning if needed, depending on the wind speed, for residents to take shelter. But for now the situation doesn’t require action.”

He said such storms were common this time of year.

“If we look at historical data, we’ve had such storms in the past in June back in 2007, although it was much stronger. The track of such storms have many possibilities and, now, Oman is one of them.”

cmalek@thenational.ae