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Cyclone Mekunu brings scattered showers in UAE

NCM issues poor visibility warning in UAE as storm in Oman is expected to weaken

Image Credit: Courtesy: NCM
A satellite image of Cyclone Mekunu’s progress yesterday. It was classified as a Category 2 storm yesterday, with winds of up to 167km/h at its centre.
Gulf News

Abu Dhabi, Dubai: The National Centre of Meteorology (NCM) is forecasting more rain and advising motorists to take precaution as blowing bust reduces reduced visibility in certain areas with Mekunu, now downgraded to tropical depression, brings heavy rains and strong winds in the south of neighbouring Saudi Arabia.

Scattered showers hit the UAE late on Saturday, with strong winds kicking up dust in parts of the UAE until 10pm. 

The NCM forecast visibility to be to less than 2000 metres over some eastern and southern areas of the country.

Cyclone Mekunu, which battered Yemen before moving to Oman, will not impact UAE directly and has weakened into a tropical depression after making landfall in Oman on Saturday and Saudi Arabia early on Sunday.

Cyclone Mekunu left at least 10 people dead and another 40 people missing in Oman and Yemen.

The NCM said it will be "cloudy and hazy at times, while some clouds will appear over eastern and southern areas — which may become convective, associated with rainfall at times."

No effect in the UAE

Mohammad Al Ebri, director of the National Centre of Meteorology (NCM) in Abu Dhabi, told Gulf News on Friday that Mekunu was a Category 2 storm on Friday, with winds of up to 167km/h at its centre, but has started to weaken.

On Saturday, weathermen downgraded it to a Category 1 tropical storm as Mekunu travels over open desert and eastern mountainous areas along the Arabian Sea.

The storm should dissipate within 200km of making landfall, he added.

“There will be no direct impact on the UAE. However, a moist air mass with clouds will reach the UAE,” Al Ebri said. “We only expect rain and thunderstorms in the mountains and southern parts on Saturday and Sunday.”

Name of image Estimated position of Mekunu by Sunday, May 27. The cyclone weakened to Category 1 storm after making landfall on Saturday morning (May 26, 2018) west of Dhofar, Oman, with an estimated wind speed around the centre of between 126km/h to 144 km/h, according to the UAE's National Center of Meteorology. NCM

'Rain in the UAE'

Without a heat source from tropical waters, Mekunu will virtually vanish as it makes its way inland, Al Ebri said, noting that outer bands of rain will bring “normal” precipitation to the UAE.

As of 1.30am, the NCM has downgraded Mekunu to Category 1 tropical storm.

The national weather bureau forecasters said that as the storm moves north and over the desert, a moist air mass will lead to cloud formation — which may develop into thundershowers in the eastern and southern parts associated with fresh winds, causing blowing sand/dust especially over the remote areas.

The NCM urged residents to “keep following updates, reports and forecasts issued by the NCM and ignore rumours issued by non-professional entities”.

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