Oman weather: Rain, hail fall in Batinah region

Oman Wednesday 17/February/2016 16:54 PM
By: Times News Service
Oman weather: Rain, hail fall in Batinah region

Muscat: Heavy rain and hailstorm fell in Sohar, Shinas, Al Kabourah, Nakhal, Suwaiq, Saham and other parts of Batinah region, weather enthusiasts said.
“Heavy rain and hailstorm started to fall in the afternoon. Traffic flow is hit. Wadis have started to overflow,” Badar Ali Nasser Al Baddaei, a weather enthusiast who maintains an exclusive blog for weather updates, told Times of Oman.
Around 3pm on Wednesday, Oman meteorology department tweeted in its official twitter handle about the presence of convective cloud along Hajar Mountains, coastal areas of Sea of Oman and Musandam with thundershower over South and North Batinah region. Residents in Shinas who witnessed heavy hailstorm fall said that it is for the first time they are seeing such a phenomenon.
“We have not seen this before,” residents said. In its latest forecast for Thursday, meteorology department has predicted rain and hailstorm in northern parts of Oman and along the coastal areas of Al Wusta governorate.
Meanwhile, an individual and a family of three people were stuck yesterday in their cars in wadis, according to the Public Authority for Civil Defence and Ambulance (PACDA) official twitter account.
An individual was stuck in Mowaileeh area in Sohar while a family was stuck in Al Widyat area in Shinas. They were rescued by PACDA.
On Monday itself, meteorology department had predicted rain in Muscat, Musandam, Al Buraimi, Al Dhahira, North and South Al Batinah, Al Dakhliya and North and South Al Sharqiya, starting from Tuesday. In Tuesday’s rain, public authority for civil defence and ambulance service (PACDA) personnel were pressed into service to rescue people who were caught in overflowing wadis in Saham and Sohar. Late on Tuesday night, the stranded people were rescued and PACDA tweeted that they are in good health.
With heavy rainfall prediction PACDA had advised citizens and residents not to risk their lives.
In the past, civil defence authorities have grappled with the challenge of saving lives as some irresponsible drivers tried crossing overflowing wadis and waded in difficult terrain. “PACDA rescue teams are on standby for any distress calls from citizens and residents and we are working in coordination with weather forecast authorities,” an official from PACDA said last Monday. “We fear that North Al Batinah will get the maximum amount of rainfall according to the latest forecast,” a PACA official had said.
PACA has advised the public to take precautions during the rain and avoid crossing wadis (valleys), as well as checking the sea conditions before sailing.
Urging people to stay informed and be ready to act if a warning is issued, PACA has sent out some safety tips.