Rain and thunderstorm hit OmanStrong winds whip up sandstorm in Central RegionStrong winds whip up sandstorm in Central Region.Image COURTESY rthmc.netImage Credit: Strong winds whip up sandstorm in Central Region.Image COURTESY rthmc.netImage Credit: ‹› Published: 13:11 April 23, 2013 By Sunil K. Vaidya, Bureau Chief SMALLMEDIUMLARGEMuscat: Heavy rain and thundershowers flooded wadis (valleys) in Ibri, about 200km south-west of Muscat early Tuesday.In the central region strong winds whipped up a dust storm on Monday evening and the country’s meteorological department has forecast more dust storms in the central and southern regions in the next 24 hours.“A huge cloud of sand was created on the road from Adam to Salalah,” said Bader Ali Al Baddaei, one of the administrators on www.rthmc.net, a local web-based forum to discuss weather trends in Oman.A spokesperson for the meteorological department also confirmed that strong winds whipped up sand in the central region. “We expect more sandstorms in the next 24 hours,” the spokesperson said. He also forecast that strong winds could whip up sand, especially in the desert areas.The meteorological department spokesperson said that most of the south Batinah region and Muscat received light to moderate rain on Tuesday morning. “The early morning rain was accompanied by thundershowers, which we expect to continue for the next 24 hours,” he added.Ibri received the maximum rainfall of 22.6mm followed by Bidiya (16.8mm), Jebel Shams (3.4mm), Adam (3.2mm), Muscat (2.2mm), Buraimi (1.6mm), Yanqul (1.2mm) and Sayq (1mm).The meteorological department spokesperson has urged people not to cross wadis, especially in the Ibri area. He also advised fisherman to be careful at sea, which is expected to be rough for the next 24 hours.The rain brought the mercury down by five degrees to 32 degrees Celsius.