It’s appropriate Halloween is tomorrow, as we have a MONSTER storm now strengthening on the other side of the world!
Cyclone Chapala, our equivalent to a hurricane, is now a category 4 storm according to the National Centre for Meteorology and Seismology (NCMS), in the United Arab Emirates. See photo below.
Its eye is as evident as that of Hurricane Patricia which slammed into western Mexico last week. Chapala, now with winds at 150mph, is likely to strengthen further as it slides westward toward the Arabian Peninsula over the weekend. Oman & Yemen will be hardest hit.
The official track from NCMS takes it over Yemen early on Monday, but by then, in a much weaker state — as a category 1 or 2 storm. Despite the lower wind speeds though, torrential rain will likely be the biggest problem. A foot of rain could occur along the coast of Yemen, which would be several years’ worth of rain in actuality! Flash flooding is expected to be tremendous, since dry, packed, sandy soil doesn’t absorb rain well at all. Therefore, much of what falls will pool instead of being absorbed.
Scenes like shown below (courtesy of the Times of Oman) will be widespread.
Cyclones in the Arabian Sea aren’t unheard of, but they’re far more rare than in the western Atlantic Ocean, eastern Pacific, and Gulf of Mexico. See the plot, courtesy of NOAA, below. It’s very unusual to get a storm this strong in that part of the world, too!