Cyclone #Nilofar latest: 550km from #Oman; #Pakistan, #India braced...
The might of Cyclone Nilofar has gained momentum as it barrels down towards Oman, with a mere 550km or 320 nautical miles separating the centre of the storm to the nearest point on the coast, according to the country’s Met Department.
The US Navy’s Joint Typhoon Warning Centre places this as Oman’s Masirah Island, adding that the centre of the storm is currently ‘a 10 nautical mile [18.5km] cloud-filled eye and deep connective feeder bands wrapped tight into the well-defined low level center’.
Wind speeds are averaging at 80 knots or nearly 150kmph, with Oman issuing a marine warning, advising all boats to return to the coast.
The current trajectory of Nilofar is critical for the country over the next 10 hours as the deep depression – upgraded to a ‘very severe cyclonic storm’ – moves northwest before it is expected to re-curve northeast and make its way towards Pakistan and India.
Oman: The Oman Meteorology Department has reiterated the cyclone is not likely to make landfall, even though high winds, rainfall and rough seas are forecast over the next 24 hours.
The Met office said in a statement: “Most numerical weather predication models still forecast the cyclone to approach Al Wustah and Southern Al Sharqiah coasts without landfall.”
The office further stated: “The cyclone is likely to move northwest on Tuesday and Wednesday; the centre of the cyclone is expected to be between 350km to 450km from Oman’s Arabian Sea coast at the closest. Moderate to heavy rains likely over the governorates of Al Wusta and southern Al Sharqiya.”
The Met office also issued a marine warning, citing the Arabian Sea and the Oman Sea are expected to be 'very rough'.
It added: “The Public Authority for Civil Aviation appeals to fishermen and sea to goers to avoid venturing to the sea along the coast of Oman.”
Pakistan: Pakistan’s Met department has placed the cyclone 1,120km southwest of Karachi and 1,030km south of the port of Gawadar.
In a statement, the Met office said: “The cyclone would continue to move in northwest direction today [Tuesday] with a speed of 6kmph and is expected to re-curve northeastwards (towards adjoining coastal areas of Lower Sindh and Indian Gujarat) on Wednesday.
“At present the estimated central pressure of the cyclone is 990 hPa [Hectopascals or the standard for measuring barometric pressure] and the average sustained wind speed around is 90-100, gusting up to 110 Knots [203kmph].”
The country is bracing itself for thunderstorms and very heavy rainfall in Lower Sindh, including Karachi, the coastal areas of Balochistan from Wednesday evening to Friday.
The storm surge will be accompanied by strong gusty winds.
India: The Indian Met Department’s morning update has placed the storm 1,110km southwest of Naliya, Gujarat, adding: “It would move northwest during the next 12 hours and then gradually curve northeast and cross north Gujarat and adjoining Pakistan coast around Naliya by November 1 forenoon.