Chilly days ahead

Muscat: As 2013 comes to a close, chilly winds and rain are expected to hit different parts of the Sultanate in the coming few days, a forecast from the Meteorology Department said.

According to the Sultanate's Met department, the lowest temperature in Muscat yesterday was 14C and as per the forecast for today, it would be 15C.

The forecast for today (Tuesday) put the mercury in Jebel Shams at minus two (-2) degrees Celsius.

Last Thursday, Jebel Shams recorded its coldest morning of the season at minus seven (-7) degrees Celsius.

"The lowest temperature in Saiq will be two degrees Celsius, Haima will witness five degrees Celsius, Nizwa eight degrees Celsius, Marmul nine degrees Celsius, Khasab 14 degrees Celsius and Salalah 18 degrees Celsius," the forecast said. "Relatively cool weather over most of the Sultanate with  low clouds along the coastal areas," the Met weather report said, adding that during the next 48 hours, rough to moderate sea conditions are expected along the southeastern and Oman Sea coast due to moderate northeasterly winds.

However, the social networking websites are abuzz with much lower temperature predictions.

While reporting rain in Barka, Mabellah, Seeb and Mawaleh, a Facebook post by Oman Weather Updates predicted that tonight (Tuesday) will be the coldest night in Oman this year.

Many were also posting predictions about the lowest temperature and rain on Twitter.

Meanwhile, according to the BBC Weather forecast, the lowest temperature in Muscat will be nine degrees Celsius today (Tuesday) and 12 degrees Celsius tomorrow (Wednesday).

According to the BBC Weather report, the lowest temperature in Saudi Arabia yesterday was nine degrees Celsius and it will be eight degrees Celsius today (Tuesday).

In Dubai, the lowest temperature yesterday was 11 degrees Celsius and it will be 12 degrees Celsius today (Tuesday).

However, the Meteorology department's Muscat weather history chart says that the lowest temperature of 16.7 degrees Celsius was witnessed in January. Even though 18.3 degrees Celsius is being shown as the lowest temperature in the chart for this month, the current readings show that the temperature will take a plunge again. Confirming the Met reports, people in Muscat said there is a big change in weather.

"It seems that a very cold front is barrelling towards us. It was shivering cold outside even in the evening. Night may be worse," some residents in Muscat said.

Meanwhile, doctors in town have advised the residents to stay indoors, drink warm, healthy soup and play indoor board games to avoid the sniffles and allergies.

"Winter bugs thrive in cold, damp weather and as the mercury dips, people contract influenza and para influenza. People get an allergic reaction to the change in weather and may develop allergic rhinitis, watery eyes and frequent sneezing," Dr Shibu Mohammed, a medic in Badr Al Samaa hospital in Ruwi. He added that the golden rule to follow during these weather conditions is to stay indoors and cover oneself up so as to avoid exposure.


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