June and July are always good months for surfing on the Indian Ocean - just before the monsoon season starts you consistently get swells rolling up from the south, and combined with the fact that the weather in the gulf region and subcontinent is on the wrong side of 40 degrees C, places like Salalah along the south coast of Oman are ideal surfing getaways.
I've been keeping an eye on the weather systems all week, but then out of nowhere what looked like just a nice tropical depression turned into a full-blown category 5 cyclone. Now this weekend instead of looking for the beaches with the biggest surf, we'll be going out of our way to find somewhere more sheltered where the waves will only be a lot less than the 40 foot plus monsters that they're predicting all up and down the Omani coast.
Indian Ocean surf spots on google maps
US Navy Wave Reports
Cyclone Gonu to hit land
Muscat: Oman's weather officials said that the centre of cyclone Gonu will hit the eastern coast of the country on Wednesday morning and that it remained a category five storm.
Speaking to Gulf News, Ahmed Al Harthy, Director at the Department of Meteorology Department said: "The speed of the cyclone has accelerated and is expected to land at the east coast after 1am (Wednesday)"
He added that the tropical cyclonic storm was just 100km from Oman's turtle nesting site at Ras Al Hadd and moving at 14kmh.
The cyclone is heading towards Muscat along the coast. "We expect Gonu's impact over Muscat at around 4pm on Wednesday," he said.
Dr Kamal Bhatt, a Senior Specialist Surgeon at the Sur Hospital in the east said that the impact of cyclone was being felt from late evening.
"Strong wind and heavy rain started coming down by 7pm and we also struggled to catch television signals even as the intensity of wind kept increasing," he said.
The Royal Oman Police (ROP) last night issued a statement urging residents to stay indoors for the next two to three days or until the impact of cyclone recedes. "We have lifted the alert level to maximum," a statement from ROP said last night.
"The wind speed will range between 212 to 260 km/h and waves could rise up to 25 metres on the east coast," warned the ROP statement.
All ports in the country were closed and larger ships were ordered off to anchorage to avoid any possible damage to berths during high waves.
Oman's oil and gas producing companies also briefly shut operations with Oman LNG in Sur shutting their operations until cyclone passes while Petroleum Development Oman suspended all loadings at their Mina Al Fahal facility in Muscat.
Omifco in Sur also shut their operations and sent all staff home.