A tropical cyclone is heading for Oman - here's what you need to know
8 things to know before Cyclone Nilofar hits land.EDGAR staff October 29, 2014
Apart from the obvious extreme summer heat and the odd shamal every now and again, thankfully we don't get much in the way of severe weather here in the Middle East. However, if you've been watching the forecasts over the past few days you'll know that all could be about to change.
We're referring to the tropical cyclone Nilofar, which is currently building up power somewhere in the middle of the Arabian Sea and looks set to make landfall over the next couple of days.
Where will Nilofar hit? How strong will it be? Is it likely to cause much damage? Everything you need to know about the tropical cyclone is below:
1. It started in the sea
As is usual with tropical cyclones, Nilofar originated over a large body of relatively warm water - in this case the Arabian Sea. 2. The winds will be extremely strong
Speeds are expected to reach up to 150km/h.
3. It might get even stronger
The storm is already a category three cyclone and could turn into a category four.
4. Seas will be rough
Large waves and dangerous rip currents are expected in both the Gulf of Oman and the Arabian Gulf, so stay out of the water this weekend.
5. The worst damage will probably be in India and Pakistan
Nilofar looks likely to turn northeast towards southeastern Pakistan and the Indian province of Gujarat, making landfall on Friday, October 31. There are already plans for evacuations in rural areas. 6. It will reach Oman
The edge of the storm will brush past the east coast, bringing gusty winds and rain, but it shouldn't cause too much damage.
7. Local economies may suffer
Fishermen in Pakistan's Gwadar coast have already been directed to return to land until after the storm passes.
8. It shouldn't affect the UAE
Judging by its current direction, the storm shouldn't have any major effect on the UAE apart from slight increased winds and rougher seas off the coast.
UPDATE: Nilofar has now passed Oman and is heading towards India and Pakistan. Heavy rain is expected in far southeastern Pakistan, including Karachi and Hyderabad, and India's northern Gujarat state on Thursday, October 30 and Friday, October 31.