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Cyclonic storm in south, heavy rain in north likely.

MUSCAT: The deep depression over the Arabian Sea is likely to intensify into a cyclonic storm and is likely to strike the southern coastal areas of Oman in the next 24 hours even as the Sultanate's meteorological department has predicted heavy rains and gusty winds accompanied by thunderstorms for the next 48 hours in the northern parts of the country, due to the low pressure formation centered north of Iran.

According to an advisory issued by the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD), the depression over west-central Arabian Sea that moved westwards has intensified into a deep depression and lay centered at 0830 hrs Indian Standard Time of yesterday over west-central Arabian Sea near latitude 13.50N and longitude 60.00E, about 750km east-southeast of Salalah.

"The system is likely to intensify into a cyclonic storm during next 24 hours and move west-northwestwards initially and then westwards towards Gulf of Aden during next 72 hrs. The sustained maximum surface wind of the cyclonic storm will be 65-75 gusting to 85kmph," the advisory added.

The Joint Typhoon Warning Centre (JTWC) of US Navy has also issued a cyclone warning in the North Indian Ocean, yesterday.

Tropical Cyclone 04a.

According to the JTWC advisory, Tropical Cyclone 04a (Four) was located near 13.5n 59.5e, approximately 500 nautical miles east-northeast off Somalia and had tracked west-northwestward at

09 knots over the past six hours, yesterday.

The statement issued by the Sultanate's meteorological department, on the other hand, said, "Sky will be partly cloudy over Muscat, Batinah, Dhahirah, Buraimi, Dhakhliah, Sharqiya, Salalah, Wusta and Musandam for the next 48 hours. The sea is expected to be rough along the coastal areas with maximum wave height of 2.0 to 3.0 meters."

Meanwhile, light to moderate rain was witnessed in several parts of Oman, especially in the Muscat region. "There was heavy rain and thunderstorms at around 5pm. The roads are flooded and wadis are overflowing. The sky is still cloudy. It seems that it will rain again in the night," Sagar, a resident of Seeb, told Times of Oman.

The neighbouring areas of Seeb, like Al Khoud and Mabella, also witnessed light to moderate rain. Overflowing wadis and flooded roads resulted in huge traffic jams in the areas for hours. The other regions of the Sultanate witnessed only light rain yesterday.

"In Masirah, the skies are cloudy and we witnessed light rains only. It may rain any time and we have got an advisory from the authorities to be cautious," Mohammed Shafi, a Masirah resident, said.

Even though the skies over Salalah, Sur and Sohar were cloudy for the entire day, it didn't rain heavily in any of these places, sources said. Meanwhile, Monday evening's strong winds damaged several shops in Falaj and Liwa.

"Due to the strong winds, three restaurants were partially damaged in Liwa. The roads are flooded and wadis are overflowing in Falaj after the heavy rain which lashed the area late Monday night," Yusuf Salim, a Sohar resident, said.

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Publication:Times of Oman (Muscat, Oman)
Geographic Code:7OMAN
Date:Nov 9, 2011
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