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Friday, June 04, 2010

Cyclone Phet turns towards to Pakistan

Tropical Cyclone Phet slammed into Oman yesterday and has finally turned towards the northeast heading towards Karachi. The storm has weakened significantly as a result of interaction with land.

Cyclone Phet headed to Pakistan, landfall expected Sunday (Digital Journal)
Tropical Cyclone Phet made landfall in Oman causing landslides and floods and is now back over the Arabian Sea and headed toward Pakistan. Waves in Arabian Sea are 22 feet high. All fishing boats and other water craft have been advised to stay in port.

NASA's Terra satellite have captured infrared and visible images of Tropical Cyclone Phet today that showed the lack of an eye, indicating that the storm had weakened after making landfall in Oman.

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When Phet made landfall in Oman on June 3, it caused landslides and floods in the eastern part of the country. After landfall Phet weakened and continued heading in a northeasterly direction up Oman's coast and back into the Arabian Sea. No casualties have been reported.

Tropical Cyclone Phet's maximum sustained winds were down to 65 knots (74 mph) making it a Category One cyclone on the Saffir-Simpson Scale. That's down from the Category Four cyclone it was before it made landfall yesterday. Phet is now 65 miles southeast of Musqat, Oman, near 22.9 North and 59.5 East. It's moving north-northeast near 6 knots (7 mph). Tropical Storm-force winds extend out to 115 miles from the center, so the storm has grown in size since it made landfall. It's now 230 miles in diameter.
Phet's projected track will take it near the coast of Pakistan before making landfall near Karachi. The storm is expected to continue into Gujarat, India before dissipating. The biggest concern is whether the storm will intensify while over water before striking land a second time. Tropical storm force winds and heavy rain are possible all along the coast throughout the weekend.

Tropical Cyclone Phet Slams into Oman, Headed to Pakistan(AccuWeather)
Remnants of Tropical Cyclone Phet continue to affect coastal Oman on Friday. The storm is shifting its track to the east, likely targeting Karachi, Pakistan, later in the weekend.

The projected path of Phet brings it into contact with millions of lives along the northern Arabian Seacoast in the Middle East into the weekend.

Phet weakened Friday evening EDT with winds decreasing from 74 mph, which is Category 1 hurricane status, to 69 mph. The strongest gusts late in the morning were around 90 mph. The center of the storm at this time had moved back over the Gulf of Oman, tracking north-northeastward and churning more than 450 miles west of Karachi.

Phet slammed into Oman Thursday evening. Soon after landfall, the strength of the storm's maximum sustained winds were equivalent to a Category 2 hurricane. Phet's intensity matched a Category 4 hurricane as recently as early Thursday morning.

The interaction with land is what caused Phet to weaken early this morning, but it remains a potent storm. Damaging winds, pounding surf and torrential rain will continue to slam northeastern Oman, which typically receives only a few inches of rain per year.

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