LATEST : The UAE’s National Centre of Meteorology and Seismology (NCMS) has said that latest satellite imagery and observations in addition to the weather reports from the main regional centres indicate that the tropical storm ‘Ashobaa’ has in the past six hours moved towards the northwest from its original position of west-central of the Arabian Sea.
Currently, the centre of tropical storm lies at latitude of 20.3N and longitude 64.6 E, about 570km from Sur (Oman) and 730km from Muscat (Oman), with surface wind speed between 60–80km/hour.
NCMS said it will intensify further into a severe tropical storm and move initially west-northwestwards in the next 24 hours.
The impact on the UAE is expected to be indirect. The seas along the east coast of the country will rise by Wednesday night and Thursday morning. An increase in the amount of clouds to the East is expected, especially on the eastern mountains, according to the NCMS.
NCMS says it will keep monitoring this weather case, as it is well known that such cases are highly uncertain and sometimes change quickly.
UPDATE: As Oman braces for the possible impact of Tropical Storm Ashobaa over the next 24 hours, warnings have been issued across the coastal areas of Muscat and Sur.
The country’s municipality has issued circulars asking government offices to be on alert. Residents of Muscat’s coastal Muttrah neighbourhood said the Scout Wing of the Royal Oman Police is visiting offices buildings to issue warnings.
Meanwhile, with waves in the Arabian Sea reaching heights of nearly 3.5 metres or 11.5 feet, the Oman Meteorology Department has warned beachgoers to stay away from coastal areas on Wednesday.
As this region carefully tracks the trajectory of Tropical Storm Ashobaa while it steers its way across the Arabian Sea, the question on everyone’s mind is, whether they will be impacted by the force of this weather system.
Oman and UAE remain watchful, with the former country’s Met office issuing an alert on Tuesday afternoon stating “precautionary measures” are being taken if the storm makes landfall.
The Oman Meteorological department stated: “The continued likelihood of Tropical Storm Ashobaa approaching the coast of Oman, the National Multi-Hazard Early Warning System (NEWS) is taking precautionary measures in the event of the approaching system.
“Authorities are currently preparing for the possible effects of a scenario of the possibility it approaches the coast of Oman.”
According to the Indian and Pakistan Met Departments, the storm is currently 700kms east-southeast of Muscat and less than 500kms away from Sur.
The UAE, meanwhile, maintains the maximum impact on the country would be fresh winds, between 18 and 22 knots over the coming days, with a possible chance of rainfall.
What can happen?
Storm Center UAE, a weather monitoring division in the country, has etched out four possible scenarios that could develop over the next 24 hours, which would ultimately decide whether the storm will impact the Gulf region in any manner.
The Center posted details on its official social media account, stating Tropical Storm Ashobaa maintains the potential to either veer northeast towards the Pakistan coastline, make landfall in Oman – which may affect cities such as Muscat and Sur.
The storm could also miss making landfall entirely and continue its trajectory across the Oman Sea.
Or, in its fourth instance, lose strength and dissipate in the coming days.
Speaking with ‘Emirates 24|7’, a spokesperson with the UAE’s National Centre for Meteorology and Seismology (NCMS) stated: “With a Tropical Storm such as Ashobaa, the calculation models are critical in determining what path this weather system will take; even the slightest change in the equation could see the storm’s trajectory change track.”
The spokesperson continued: “On Monday, the models stated the storm would impact Pakistan, which would bear the brunt of its force. Tuesday’s model states the trajectory is now moving eastwards instead.”
The NCMS further stated it wasn’t in a position to comment on Oman’s impact but speaking further about the UAE, the spokesperson added: “According to our current calculations, the Tropical Storm is not expected to cause any dramatic changes in weather.
“Currently, marine warnings have been issued for rough waters in the Arabian Gulf on Tuesday and similar conditions in the Oman Sea on Wednesday, with waves reaching heights of eight feet.”
The spokesperson further added, the UAE could experience fresh northeasterly winds ranging between 18 to 22 knots, which may be an effect of the storm, with towering clouds over the east coast adding to the chance of rainfall on the coastline of the country.
Where is the storm now?
According to the last update London-based Tropical Storm Risk Centre, over the next 36 hours, the weather system will be upgraded to a Severe Cyclonic Storm with wind speeds reaching 150 kms per hour.
It’s latest trajectory indicates the city of Sur in Oman would be affected, along with capital Muscat and Nizwa; an update from the country’s weather bureau is still awaited.
According to the last update by the US Navy’s Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JWTC), this is now a category 1 ‘Tropical Cyclone’, which will remain on a “northwestward trajectory through 24 hours before slowing due to a competing steering environment as it transitions to a building strength to the northwest.”
The JWTC adds in the next 36 hours, by June 10-11, the cyclone is expected to “slowly intensify due to sea surface temperatures…
“Beyond 36 hours, will see it accelerate westwards towards the coast of Oman.
At 72 hours, this system will weaken as it makes landfall along the eastern coast of Oman where it will begin to unravel, it added.
By the end of this period, Tropical Cyclone Ashobaa will “fully dissipate over land.”