Muscat: Jebel Shams, a mountain located in the north-eastern part of Oman, recorded the season's coldest morning at minus seven (-7) degrees Celsius yesterday, even as the mercury took an early plunge across the Sultanate yesterday.
According to the meteorology department, Jebel Shams, which lies north of the Al Hamra town, recorded minus seven degrees Celsius, Saiq 2.8, Fahud 9.7, Haima 10.3 and Buraimi 10.5 degrees.
While the usual average summer temperature at Jebel Shams hovers around 20 degrees Celsius it sometimes drops to the sub-zero levels in winter.
"It is interesting to see that Jebel Shams is witnessing sub-zero temperatures early in the season. The climate has been changing a lot in recent times.," Badar Al Baddaei, who runs www.rthmc.net, a website on weather conditions in Oman and the Gulf, told the Times of Oman.
"Even though there was no snow fall, dew turned into a kind of ice sheet, covering outdoors plants and objects," he added.
"According to experts, the temperature is likely to go down again on Thursday (today)," he said when asked about the likely trend.
In 2012 also, Jebel Shams saw sub zero temperatures at minus six (-6) degrees Celsius. In 2010, the Al Hajar Mountain range was covered with snow.
"Usually, the temperatures go below zero degrees Celsius in January. This time, it is a bit early. It was freezing cold in the morning, but in the evening, around 4pm, it was three degrees Celsius. It may again dip in the night," Razzel, a supervisor at a resort in Jebel Shams, said.
Residents in Jebel Akhdar said that the temperature there hovered around four degrees Celsius. "It was chilling cold and foggy outside. Vehicles were seen using fog lights," one of them said. However, in Muscat yesterday, the maximum temperature was 23 degrees Celsius while the minimum was recorded at 18 degrees Celsius.
The meteorology department reported rains from some parts of the Sultanate. "Saham recorded 6.6mm of rain, Al Amerat 1.0mm, Khaboura 2.1mm, Sohar 8.0mm and Seeb 2.2mm," the department's rainfall chart stated.
Meanwhile, the meteorology department forecast for next 48 hours said that the Sultanate will witness a relatively cool weather and the skies will be partly cloudy.
"The minimum temperature at Jebel Shams will be minus six degrees Celsius and maximum will be one degree Celsius. In Saiq, the minimum will be two degrees Celsius and maximum will be nine degrees Celsius.
In Haima, the minimum temperature will be eight degrees Celsius and maximum will be 25 degrees Celsius," the meteorology department's weather chart for today (Thursday) showed.