By Eric Leister – AccuWeather
Tropical Cyclone Nilofar developed on Saturday in the middle of the Arabian Sea and will bring impacts to parts of Oman, Pakistan and India this week.
The combination of warm ocean waters and relatively low wind shear will allow for some further strengthening through Wednesday. Nilofar has already reached an intensity which is the equivalent of a Category 2 hurricane and could reach the Category 3 strength before interacting with increased wind shear and weakening later this week.
Nilofar will continue on a north to northwest track through Wednesday before taking a turn toward the northeast during the second half of the week. Nilofar’s track toward the north and northeast will keep the center of the cyclone east of Oman with only the outer fringes of the storm bringing gusty winds and downpours to the far eastern part of the country.
While the threat for widespread damaging winds and flooding is reduced in Oman, any thunderstorm from Nilofar can produce locally damaging winds and heavy rain.
Even though Nilofar will pass east of Oman, dangerous rip currents and rough surf will affect the coast through much of the upcoming week.
The above satellite picture shows Nilofar spinning over the Arabian Sea Tuesday, local time. The image is courtesy of the Space Science and Engineering Center at University of Wisconsin-Madison
Beyond Thursday, Nilofar will get steered to the east-northeast across the northern Arabian Sea toward the coasts of southeastern Pakistan and the Indian state of Gujarat by the end of the week.
Landfall is expected Saturday night, local time, near the border of Pakistan and India. Interaction with increased wind shear and dry continental air from Asia will cause the cyclone to rapidly weaken as it approaches Pakistan and India. Tropical storm-force wind gusts are only expected near the coast, as localized flooding appears to be the biggest concern with this storm.
As southwest wind shear interactions with the cyclone, it will pull moisture northeastward ahead of the cyclone leading to scattered downpours in far southeast Pakistan and western Gujarat.
These downpours can lead localized flooding, but widespread flooding is not expected across the region at this time.
The cyclone will likely dissipate before moving farther inland limiting impacts from advancing farther northeast into India.
The possibility exists that the wind shear dissipates the storm before reaching India and Pakistan. In this scenario, only some scattered showers and thunderstorms will impact the region with no threat for damaging winds or flooding rainfall.
Meteorologist Erik Pindrock contributed to this story.