Climate change: Record rain in history of modern Oman

SALALAH: The latest tropical depression that passed recently through Dhofar Governorate has established entirely new facts in front of the weather experts, people involved in water resources and policymakers to ponder over and draw strategies in line with the challenges put by the nature.

It rained and rained heavily for five days in some parts of the governorate to an extent that it established a record of highest rainfall and subsequent highest accumulation of water in Jabal Samhan in the history of modern Oman.

If we go by the available sources in the Ministry of Regional Municipalities and Water Resources, only Mirbat (Jabal Samhan) received 1055mm of water from May 27 to 31 followed by Sadah, Taqah, Salalah, Thumrait, Muqshin, Shalim, Rakhyut, Al Mazyunah and Dalkhut.

The rainfall in Sadah in same period recorded at 429mm, Taqah 393mm, Salalah 363mm, Thumrait 168mm, Muqshin 164mm, Shalim 157mm, Rakhyut126mm, Al Mazyunah72mm and Dalkhut 66mm.

A graph of rainfall distribution in some wilayats of the governorate, also suggest that the tropical depression caused the third highest 24-hour rainfall and subsequent water accumulation in the history of modern Oman.

It may just be a coincidence that one of the most powerful tropical cyclones in recent times in Dhofar was Mekunu that had hit Dhofar just two years before (May 25, 2020). It was powerful in terms of rain with high wind speed and subsequent damage to infrastructure, roads and wadis, but the total rainfall then was far less than the current tropical depression.

A Category-1 tropical cyclone, Mekunu brought more than 500mm of rainfall over Dhofar in three days, which was five-fold more than the annual average of 83mm.

It is up to the weather and water resources experts to evaluate, analyse and do a comparison, but it is for sure that in terms of rainfall, the latest tropical depression was far bigger.