Rare tropical cyclone to bring eight years of rain in two days in Arabia
A rare intense tropical cyclone has formed in the Arabian Sea and is forecast to dump eight years of rain in about 48 hours on typically arid regions of the Arabian Peninsula.
Cyclone Chapala has already generated sustained winds of 95 knots (175 km/h), according to the Joint Typhoon Warning Centre. It was also producing significant wave heights of more than seven metres.
Eric Holthaus, a US meteorologist, estimates the storm will dump as much as eight times the annual rainfall of coastal regions of Yemen and Oman. These regions typically collect just 100-130 millimetres of rain a year.
"Tropical cyclones are an extreme rarity near the Arabian Peninsula," Mr Holthaus said. "Since reliable records begin in 1979, there have been only two hurricane-strength storms to make landfall in Oman, and the only storm to hit Yemen topped out with winds at a paltry 35 miles per hour [56 km/h], barely tropical storm strength."
Cyclone Chapala is the latest in a year of extreme weather.
Vredendal in South Africa earlier this week set the hottest October temperature recorded anywhere and in any year with 48.4 degrees, according Jeff Master of the Weather Underground blog.
Earlier this month, Hurricane Patricia intensified into the strongest tropical storm ever recorded in the western hemisphere in just a few days.
Global temperatures are also tracking well above previous levels so far in 2015 as the powerful El Nino event in the Pacific adds to background warming from climate change.
- Sydney Morning Herald