Powerful Tropical Cyclone Mekunu Lashes Western Oman

Powerful Tropical Cyclone Mekunu lashed western Oman late on Friday.  At 5:00 p.m. EDT on Friday the center of Tropical Cyclone Mekunu was located at latitude 16.8°N and longitude 53.7°E which put it about 30 miles (50 km) south-southwest of Salalah, Oman.  Mekunu was moving toward the west-northwest at 5 m.p.h.  The maximum sustained wind speed was 115 m.p.h. (185 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 145 m.p.h. (230 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 954 mb.

Tropical Cyclone Mekunu intensified into the equivalent of a major hurricane on Friday as it approached the coast of western Oman.  The circulation contracted around a small circular eye.  A well formed ring of thunderstorms surrounded the eye and the strongest winds were occurring in that ring of storms.  Several bands of strong thunderstorms were revolving around the core of Tropical Cyclone Mekunu.

Winds to hurricane/typhoon force extended out about 30 miles (50 km) from the center of Tropical Cyclone Mekunu.  Winds to tropical storm force extended out about 120 miles (195 km) from the center of circulation.  The Hurricane Intensity Index (HII) for Tropical Cyclone Mekunu was 20.6.  The Hurricane Size Index (HSI) was 11.3 and the Hurricane Wind Intensity Size Index was 31.9.  These indices indicate that Tropical Cyclone Mekunu is capable of causing regional major damage.

Winds near the core of Tropical Cyclone Mekunu will be capable of causing major damage near the coast of western Oman.  The rainbands revolving around the core will cause minor damage within 100 miles (160 km) of the center of Mekunu.  Strong winds near and east of the center of circulation will be capable of causing a storm surge of 9 to 13 feet (3 to 4 meters) at the coast.  Strong thunderstorms will drop heavy rain, especially in places where the air flows up slopes.  Significant flash flooding will be possible in normally arid locations.