Sultanate in transition toward summer

Muscat: Mahout and Haima touched 42 degrees Celsius on Tuesday while Nizwa, Marmul, Duqm and Thumrait recorded 40 degrees.  Should that indicate arrival of summer?

“Not really,” says Meteorology Specialist at the Public Authority for Civil Aviation adding, “We are in the transition month.  The summer in Oman starts in May untill September or October.”

The humidity in Muscat is ranging between 25 per cent and 50 per cent in Muscat while it is between 45 per cent and 85per cent in Salalah.  The humidity has been higher in the coastal areas of Oman while the days are hot and dry in the desert.

Currently it is high pressure over the Sultanate and according to the experts at Met Office, stable weather is being expected with some low level cloud formation along the coastal areas of the Arabian Sea and Al Wusta Governorate with late night and early morning fog patches.

The summer has specific dynamics in weather patterns of Oman that is due to the various features of the Sultanate ranging from Al Hajr Mountains to the water bodies that shapes the coast of Oman and not to forget the desert.

Summer in Oman brings in the late afternoon rains to Al Hajr Mountain, the monsoon (Khareef) to Salalah and the Inter Tropical Convergence Zone.  The thermal lows experienced over the Empty Quarters and other areas of the region influences the southwesterly winds and monsoon in the Arabian Sea.

“Thermal lows are a result of dynamics due to the wind circulation experienced in Oman and the adjoining areas of the Arabian Peninsula including India and Pakistan.  It is the dynamics of southwesterly circulation of air.  The thermal can be found over the Empty Quarters and the region and it also has an impact on the Indian Ocean and the Arabian Sea and is associated with the development of the monsoon system which is known as the Indian Monsoon System,” explained Mansoor Hilal al Shabibi, Meteorology Specialist at PACA.

Yet another intriguing feature of summer in Oman is the mixing zone known as the Inter Tropical Convergence Zone.

“The Inter Tropical Convergence Zone is found along Oman’s coast through Dhofar and Sharqiya where there is a maritime air convergence and experiences the thermodynamics of tropical and continental air from the Arabian Sea and with an exception of Al Hajr’s formation of cloud development and summer time convections,” he explained.

Al Hajr Mountains become very active during the summer months generating late afternoon rains at times frequently even with thunder showers which meteorologists say are difficult to predict with accuracy.

“This is due to the local sea breeze and land breeze convergence over the mountains.  Sometimes you can see the clouds over the peak of Al Hajr Mountains which leads to the afternoon rains and at times thundershowers but it is for limited time.

They are hard to predict.  We have two stations in Muscat International and in Salalah that observe the upper air conditions and we also look at it from Abu Dhabi, UAE, yet they are difficult to predict because they are tricky,” he pointed out.

The winds from the Arabian Gulf which is northerly to northwesterly winds converge with the sea breeze over the peaks and create cloud formations.  The local rains of Al Hajr can be expected around June – July – August.

Although they are different system Dhofar will also get ready for the summer treat for the season popularly known as khareef – monsoon.

“The khareef will begin by mid-June and go on until September,” noted the meteorologist.