Cyclone Mekunu downgraded to a tropical storm

Likely to affect parts of Saudi Arabia by Saturday dawn: GAMEP


JEDDAH — Latest satellite images, analysis of weather maps and the results of numerical models of the tropical cyclone Mekunu, in the Arabian Sea, have shown that it has become a second class cyclone and is expected to move north to northwest, with the eye of the storm away from Saudi Arabia.

The center of the storm is likely to be about 350 kilometers away and the wind speed around the center, is expected to be between 157 to 167 km/h, according to the General Authority of Meteorology and Environment Protection (GAMEP).

The commission's predictions indicate that the tropical situation, in Oman and the Republic of Yemen is likely to change. The cyclone, which has been downgraded to a tropical storm, may affect parts of the Kingdom, starting from the dawn on Saturday to next Tuesday.

Southern parts of the eastern desert of the Rub Al-Khali (the Empty Quarter) and the eastern parts of Najran will be affected by torrential rains that may lead to flash floods and active winds of up to 75 km/h, in addition to dusty weather.

GAMEP called on everyone to follow the reports on the situation, which may change often in the coming days, through the daily weather reports and alerts issued by the early warning system on the official website and on social media.

Meanwhile, the Eastern Province Civil Defense and its subcommittees held a meeting in Dammam to follow up on the expected turbulent weather conditions as of Saturday, as forecast by GAMEP.

The aim of the meeting is make sure all are ready to deal with the impacts and consequences of Cyclone Mekunu. They also discussed coordination of efforts of all the authorities to safeguard lives and properties.

The Eastern Province Civil Defense called on the citizens and expatriates to take precautions due to the expected climatic changes the province is likely to witness during the coming days. The public should abide by the directives issued by the Civil Defense in such conditions to ensure everybody’s safety.

In a related development, the World Meteorology Organization (WMO) has selected Jeddah Center at the General Authority for Meteorology and Environment Protection (GAMEP) as the regional communication center for following Cyclone Mekunu.

Dr. Ayman Ghulam, Deputy President for Meteorology Affairs at GAMEP said this is deemed a new accomplishment for the Kingdom and GAMEP. – SPA