Salalah gets windy, dusty and cold

Residents of Salalah woke up to a cold, windy and dusty Monday morning due to sudden change in weather that brought the minimum temperature down by four degrees, to 16 degrees Celsius.
Due to severe wind speed an early morning Salalah bound Salam Air flight from Muscat, could not make scheduled landing at Salalah Airport and reverted back to Muscat.
A Salam Air source confirmed the news and said, “The flight OV113 had started from Muscat at 11.35pm and supposed to land at Salalah Airport at 1.10am. The pilot tried twice to land but could not due to high wind speed. Finally it landed back in Muscat and came to Salalah after weather improved at 11.40 am.” The sudden change in weather left many off guard because just a day before the minimum temperature here was 20 degrees and maximum 28 degrees.
Monday’s maximum temperature was also down by four degrees, to 24 degrees from Sunday’s temperature of 28 degrees.
The sudden weather change was attributed to northerly wind from north Arabian Peninsula’s low pressure that shifted to the East and converted into high pressure.
“Generally when there is high pressure, the wind speed is moderate, but the wind’s movement in the desert causes lots of dust and reduces visibility,” said a source in Salalah Met Office.
Currently south of Oman is in the track of the current weather condition which is faced with wind, cold and dust.
Under the same weather condition, any other place would have been very cold. Since Salalah is surrounded by mountains, the impact of northerly wind is less here. “The mountains work as walls against the wind, the impact here is not that severe. Similarly the place would have been dustier but for the mountains that work as obstacles to the severe dust storms coming from the north,” said another source.
A report from the Directorate of Meteorological Services in Dohfar said, “Mainly clear skies over most of the coastal line and adjoining mountains and significant decrease in temperature, which could reach to five degree Celsius over the desert and mountain areas, and 15 degrees over coastline areas, with decrease in horizontal visibility due to rising of dust as wind speed become strong.” The continuity of northerly wind is expected until Wednesday when it is expect to convert to southerly to southeasterly with light to moderate speed.
Commenting on the wind status, the report said, “There are northerly to northwesterly gale to very strong gale wind speed over mountain and coastlines which may become moderate to fresh over desert areas. It is expected that the wind speed over the mountain will gradually decrease from Tuesday.” Moderate to rough sea is expected with sea waves going up to 2.5 metres in some areas.