Flooding in Muscat, Oman

Flooding in Muscat, Oman

19 January 2015 02:00–14:00 UTC

Flooding in Muscat, Oman
Flooding in Muscat, Oman

On 19 January a squall line caused flooding in areas around Muscat in Oman.

Last Updated

14 November 2020

Published on

19 January 2015

Areas of Muscat were flooded when the squall line brought intense rainfall in a short period of time. Patients were reported to have been evacuated from a hospital and schoolchildren had to be rescued, .

Full Resolution

 Meteosat-7 Visible, 19 January 12:00 UTC
Figure 1: Meteosat-7 Visible, 19 January 12:00 UTC
 
 Meteosat-10, Airmass RGB and absolute topography 500 hPa from ECMWF model, 19 January 12:00 UTC (Credit: EUMeTrain
Figure 2: Meteosat-10, Airmass RGB and absolute topography 500 hPa from ECMWF model, 19 January 12:00 UTC. Credit: EUMeTrain. Full Resolution

On 18/19 January a deep upper trough passed down the Arabian peninsula and the Gulf.

The deep trough (seen on Figure 2) triggered unusual heavy hailstorms over parts of Abu Dhabi and Ras Al Khaima.

Many other thunderstorms formed over other Gulf countries and brought rain and dust.

The minimum temperature at Jabal Shams (2960 m, highest point of the peninsula) dropped to -9 °C.

 
 Meteosat-10, Airmass RGB, 19 January 12:00 UTC (Credit: EUMeTrain)
Figure 3: Meteosat-10, Airmass RGB, 19 January 12:00 UTC. Credit: EUMeTrain. Full Resolution

In the middle of the morning of 19 January a squall line expanded from a convective system over the Iranian coast out to the Sea of Oman, just south of the Strait of Hormus (see orange arrows on Figure 3).

The Meteosat-7 infrared animation and visible animation show how the squall line moved through the Sea of Oman.

After 11:00 UTC (15:00 local) its southern edge passed exactly over the heavily urbanised area of Muscat, the capital of Oman (Figure 1).

 
 Suomi-NPP imagery (with the IR11.45 band (I5)) and Natural Colour RGB imagery, 19 January 08:45 UTC
Figure 4: Suomi-NPP imagery (with the IR11.45 band (I5)) and Natural Colour RGB imagery, 19 January 08:45 UTC. Full Resolution

The Suomi-NPP imagery (with the IR11.45 band (I5)) and Natural Colour RGB imagery (both 375m spatial resolution) (Figure 4) showed more details of the squall line and the convective system to the north.

In particular, the cloud tops were not extremely cold, a sign that the clouds developed in a cold airmass with a relatively low tropopause.

Although the convective cloud tops did not reach very high, they produced torrential downpours. The water filled the wadis leading to the downtown area of Muscat.

 
 

Related Content

Weather: Heavy rains lash Oman (YouTube/Times of Oman)
Oman weather: ROP, onlookers help evacuate Indian school students in flooded Wadi Kabir (Times of Oman)
Winter storm wreaks havoc in Muscat (Gulf News)