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Weather worsens in south, MET issues Orange Warning

MET office has issued an Orange Warning to Addu and Fuvahmulah until 19:00. Winds are strong and seas are rough. Caution is advised when travelling.

Ameera Osmanagic
18 May 2024, MVT 17:37
[File] Rainy weather in Addu City -- Photo: Mihaaru
Ameera Osmanagic
18 May 2024, MVT 17:37

Just days into the rainy southwest monsoon ('Hulhan'gu') in Maldives, Maldives Meteorological Service (MET) has issued an Orange Warning for the two southern most atolls of the country, Addu and Fuvahmulah cities.

MET forecasts winds in the area to be strong strong winds reaching 34 to 40 miles her hour, and gust winds 60 miles per hour.

Seas are also expected to be very rough during this time. Travelling by sea is discouraged unless absolutely necessary and must be done with all safety measures in place.

Local eye witnesses have reported strong winds from southwest of the atoll into the mainland blowing over sand from the recently reclaimed area of Maradhoo Feydhoo.

Social media posts from the public also caution locals to be careful when travelling past the Maradhoo football ground as the tall light poles on the field are seen to be unstable and swaying in the wind.

While an Orange Warning in Maldives is rare, it was issued for the first time during May 2020 after recording 90 millimetres of rain within an hour, and winds up to 63 miles per hour.

While an Orange Warning has been issued, a Yellow Alert was in effect for atolls below Baa atoll all the way to Addu.

The alert, which is in effect from 15:00 until 19:00 hrs is the third caution level issued by MET. An Orange Warning is a level three alert forecasting heavy rain and floods of around 90 millimetres of rain in an hour or 120 millimetres of rain in six hours.

The first level is a White Alert (information), indicating significant thunderstorms forecasts with evidence from satellite, radar or the Lightning Detection Network (LDN). The second alert level is a Yellow Advisory forecasting moderate thunderstorms backed by evidence from satellite, radar or the Lightning Detection Network (LDN). Red Warnings are issued with 180 millimetres of rain in six hours. Winds during a red warning reach as high as 70 miles per hour.

Hulhan'gu monsoon started in south of Maldives last Friday, as typical for the first or second week of May, which is expected to extend to the rest of the country by the end of the month. The monsoon is expected to last until the end of November.

MET previously revealed that this year's Hulhan'gu monsoon is expected to bring unusual amounts of rain, especially up mid and north Maldives during July, August and September.

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