Maybe. But that they don't make predictions for ordinary people, and we should ask Oman, ie DGCAM. This has got the nation into a rumour frenzy today.
The current satellite pics, and the typhoon warning centre show nothing right now. The official version from the Government scotching the rumour, and with the Brits changing their statement, is at the bottom here.
Dragon's advice: Keep checking the excellent (and free - thanks America!) US Navy Typhoon Warning site here and the infrared sat here.
And don't panic.
But as lots of other people ARE going to panic, you may want to buy some cases of water now. You can always drink it later. And you all already have a storm kit anyhow, right? With batteries, torches, a spare charged mobile phone battery, some emergency food, etc? And an evacuation plan.
But it begs the question: how usual does weather have to be to cease being unusual?...
Weather bureau warns of repeat of Cyclone Gonu in Oman
By Sunil K. Vaidya, Bureau Chief
Last updated: May 20, 2008, 18:01
Muscat: Less than a year after Cyclone Gonu devastated the coast of Oman, a UK-based international weather bureau has predicted that another tropical storm could hit Oman and Yemen at the end of May. This time the forecast of landfall of the cyclone is on May 29 around Oman/Yemen coast.
A senior official at the Directorate General of Meteorology and Air Navigation (DGMAN) confirmed that they have initial reports about the possibility of a storm.
“We are in preparedness,” Badr Al Rumhi of DGMAN told Gulf News on Tuesday. He, however, did not elaborate.
According to the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF), the onset phase of this year’s monsoon could feature a cyclone in the west Arabian Sea.
However, when contacted in London, Manfred Kloeppel, Assistant to Director, ECMWF, said: “We do not issue any warnings ourselves to any states in the world but make our products available in particular to our Member and Co-operating States.” Kloeppel further added that the forecast last Monday (May 19) showed a system developing and hitting Oman on 28 May. “This not so prominent in Tuesday’s forecast,” he added. He also clarified that ECMWF do not forecast a cyclone to hit the Gulf states, although "there clearly is still some potential for this to happen."
He added that the message from the forecast was that such a development might happen, but one must wait and see what happens in the next forecasts, a task, he stressed, was with the National Meteorological Services.
The forecast states that “the system is forecast to develop in the west central Arabian Sea and is expected to make a landfall over the Yemen/Oman coast around May 29.” It further states that the timing of the ‘cyclogenesis’ (birth of a cyclone) and the path for onward movement would resemble those of tropical Cyclone Gonu, which killed 48 people when it struck Oman on June 6 last year.
The only redeeming feature, according to ECMWF, would be that this time the storm would be comparatively at a reduced strength...
The meteorology office (DGCAM)- the only official weather information source in Oman - has of course dispelled the rumour, as they claim that an accurate forecast could be provided only 78 hours in advance. "Citizens are urged not to believe in rumours, unconfirmed stories and create panic situations" Times of Oman
MUSCAT — The European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasting (ECMWF) has withdrawn the cyclone watch in the Arabian Sea apparently in the face of invading westerly systems sweeping the northern fringes of the basin one after the other.
The cyclone watch put out on Monday had depicted a system of moderate strength making a landfall over Oman/Yemen around May 29.
But the latest seven-day forecasts valid from yesterday did not indicate any significant weather event for the region.
The Times of Oman office was flooded with phone calls after a television station based in India reported a possibility of a cyclone in the west Arabian Sea, with the ECMWF expecting a yet-to-be-born rogue circulation to spin up to class-matching strength. When we contacted an official at the Directorate-General of Civil Aviation and Meteorology, he ruled out any possibility at this juncture and added that an accurate forecast could be provided only 78 hours in advance. He also urged the citizens not to believe in rumours, unconfirmed stories and create panic situations.