Dubai: The National Centre of Meteorology said today that the tropical cyclone Mekunu centre is located approximately 475km from Salalah, Oman, and 190km from Socotra Island, currently moving with a speed of 10km/h towards the north.

"The estimated wind speed around the centre of the cyclone is between 130km/h to 140km/h," NCM said in a statement, urging the public to keep following updates, reports, forecasts it is issuing to stay away from rumours circulated by non-professional entities.

Mekunu is expected to intensify into CAT 2 during the upcoming 12 hours, according to NCM's forecast. "The expected wind speed is between 155km/h to 165km/h. The tropical cyclone is expected to continue moving toward the north and to make a landfall over the southern coastal areas of Oman by Saturday morning, 26 May 2018."

According to the Medium Ranged Forecast from Numerical Weather Predictions, the tropical cyclone will not reach the UAE territories, said NCM. "However, moist air mass is expected to effect the eastern and the southern parts of the country leading to thunder showers activities and fresh winds causing blowing sand/dust especially over the southern parts of the country."

Earlier in the day Dubai Municipality’s Geodetic and Marine Survey Section had said that the impact of tropical cyclone Mekunu on the UAE and the emirate of Dubai will be minimal.

The tropical cyclone over the Arabian Sea that is bound to hit the Oman’s coastline on Thursday is expected to affect the weather in the UAE with rainy and thundery conditions.

“The weather change in the UAE is expected to start on Friday with the activity of the southeastern wet wind which may lead to rainy clouds and mild to moderate rainfall in different areas of Dubai,” said Eman Al Falasi, head of the Geodetic and Marine Survey Section.

A satellite image of cyclone Mekunu released by Dubai Municipality’s Geodetic and Marine Survey section. Courtesy: Dubai Municipality

However, Al Falasi recommended caution on the part of motorists on highways and seafarers to save lives and property, especially in areas close to the Oman border.

“The Mekunu influence may increase on Saturday, May 26, with a chance for more clouds and the possibility for sporadic rainfall. The surface wind speed may be up to 30km/h in some areas and the full impact of the cyclone will be over by Sunday,” said Al Falasi.

Dubai Municipality’s weather forecast system warned residents of rain, thunder and strong winds, which will affect parts of the UAE on Friday and Saturday.

“Some parts of the Sultanate of Oman will be affected by the cyclone from the evening of Thursday, May 24. The cyclone is expected to advance to the north and its impact will extend to the UAE in general, and to Dubai in particular.”

The National Centre of Meteorology (NCM) said on Thursday that although the UAE will not be directly affected by Cyclone Mekunu, the weather during the weekend will be impacted.

On its official Twitter page, the NCM said that as of Wednesday night, the tropical storm was raised to a Cyclone Category 2 over latitude 11.4 degree North and longitude 55.9 degree East.

“The cyclone’s centre was located approximately 570km from Salalah, and 230km from Socotra. The wind speed around the centre of the cyclone is between 120km/h and 139km/h. The cyclone moves towards the north-northwest with a speed of 11km/h,” said the NCM.

The Abu Dhabi-based weather bureau stressed that the forecast shows that the cyclone will not have any direct effects in the UAE.

The indirect effects will be a continuous mass of moist air, “which will enhance the chance of convective developments at times over the eastern and southern regions of the country”.