UAE forecasters downgrade Cyclone Kyarr - but another storm may be on its way

Forecasters said Cyclone Kyarr has retreated slightly and begun to move southward, away from the country’s coast and back into the Sea of Oman

Residents of the UAE’s East Coast can breathe a sigh of relief as the cyclone that has been battering seaside towns has been downgraded to a tropical storm.

Forecasters said Cyclone Kyarr has retreated slightly and begun to move southward, away from the country’s coast and back into the Sea of Oman.

Kyarr is the strongest cyclone in the Arabian Sea since the category 5 Cyclone Gonu ravaged the coast in 2007.

Storm waters hit east coast towns in the Emirates and Oman in recent days, causing schools in some areas to close.

The Miramar Al Aqah Beach Resort hotel was forced to close its beach this week when crashing waves swept away sunbeds and smashed through a restaurant's glass windows.

A hotel worker in Fujairah drowned after he was swept out to sea by a high wave, while he cleaned the courtyard of debris.

On Thursday, the National Centre of Meteorology said it expected the cyclone to gradually weaken into a tropical depression from the evening, with estimated wind speeds of 40 to 50 kph.

“The Tropical Cyclone Kyarr is ... moving with a speed of 13kph, with estimated wind speed around the centre 80 to 90kph accompanied by intense of convective rainy clouds,” the bureau said.

The relief may be short-lived however, as a second tropical depression - formed in the south-east of Arabian Sea – has developed into a tropical storm (Maha) and is expected to intensify into category one tropical cyclone by early Friday morning.

Wind speeds in the centre of Cyclone Maha are estimated to be around 90 to 100kph, accompanied by intense convective rainy clouds.

Oman Meteorology reported that the cyclone Kyarr has weakened from a tropical storm to a deep tropical depression with a wind speed of 28 to 33 knots around the centre.

Oman Meteorology said it expected rain over Ash Sharqiyah South, Al Wusta and Dhofar governorates with active winds reaching 37 to 56 kph.
The bureau posted videos showing heavy rain and overflowing wadis in the Sur area of Ash Sharqiyah South Governorate in Oman.

Meanwhile in the UAE, forecasters expect cooler temperatures at the weekend as fresh winds sweep across the country.

Temperatures are expected to drop two to three degrees starting from Friday while winds will likely gather in strength from the northwest, blowing in dust and sand at speeds of up to 40kph.

Rainy clouds could take over the eastern and northern areas on Friday and otherwise partly cloudy skies are expected.

Humidity will increase overnight in come internal areas of the country, prompting mist in the early morning.

Breezy conditions on Friday will drop daytime temperatures to 34°C in Abu Dhabi and Dubai with similar conditions expected on Saturday.

Strong winds will leave the Arabian Gulf quite rough while the Sea of Oman has been described as “moderately” choppy.