Tropical Cyclone Chapala Intensifying And Heading For Arabian Peninsula

indian ocean irA tropical cyclone (or hurricane as we know it) has formed in the Arabian Sea and is heading west towards the Arabian peninsula. It looks set to hit somewhere around the border between Oman and Yemen on Monday as a strong Category 3 or 4 storm, with sustained winds of up to 115 knots (225 kph). This is liable to cause substantial damage and life-threatening floods to an area not accustomed to such severe weather.

At 1800 UTC today the Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC) analysed it as a 75-knot (146 kph) cyclone around 200 km east-southeastward of the coastal city of Salalah, Oman, moving westwards at around 8 knots (15 kph). The cyclone formed in an area of disturbed monsoon convection yesterday and has intensified due to sea-surface temperatures of 29-30 °C and low windshear (change of wind with height). These conditions will continue to cause further deepening to about 115 knots before landfall near the town of Al Ghaydah, Yemen, on Monday.

Chapala IR
IR satellite and forecast track of TC Chapala at 1800 UTC today. Image from CIMSS
Chapala gif
Morphed Integrated Microwave animation of Chapala, with the eye clearly visible inside convective bands. Image from CIMSS
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