Published On: Sat, Oct 31st, 2015

Strong Cyclone Chapala eyes Oman, Yemen

17-nasanoaassuoYemen and Oman are bracing for impacts from strengthening Tropical Cyclone Chapala (04A) in the Arabian Sea.

Tropical Cyclone Chapala (04A) currently has sustained winds equal to that of a Category 4 hurricane in the Atlantic or eastern Pacific Ocean.

Chapala is forecast to strengthen further with winds equal to that of a Category 5 hurricane by later Friday or Saturday and already ranks as one of the strongest tropical cyclones on record in the Northern Indian Ocean.

“Chapala could also become the strongest cyclone on record in the Arabian Sea,” Accuweather Senior Meteorologist Jason Nicholls added. “The pressure of Chapala is 922 mb, close to the lowest pressure of Gonu, 920 mb, in 2007.”

This tropical system will have no direct impacts on India as steering winds from the east will result in a track toward Africa and the Arabian Peninsula.

“The main threat area from Chapala will be Yemen and Oman,” Nicholls said of the tropical system in the Arabian Sea.

Nicholls anticipates “Several inches of rain and flooding are possible, starting on Sunday as the cyclone approaches by remains offshore”

The latest forecast continues to take Chapala westward before turning northwest as it approaches the coast of eastern Yemen on Monday. This scenario would bring little or no impacts to western Yemen and northeast Somalia.

Chapala will weaken as it approaches the Yemen coastline as drier air from the Arabian Peninsula begins to interact with the cyclone.

Despite weakening, Chapala will still be a dangerous cyclone equivalent of a Category 1 or 2 hurricane as it makes landfall in eastern Yemen.

Eastern Yemen and far southwest Oman should be on highest alert for this storm that is expected to bring flooding rain and damaging winds.

Areas within 30 miles of landfall will see the worst conditions with hurricane-force winds and torrential downpours.

Locations in Yemen that may be impacted by the damaging hurricane-force winds of Chapala include Sayhut, Itab, Qishn, Haswayn, Nishtun and Al Ghaydah.

Rainfall will average 100-200 mm (4-8 inches) across far eastern Yemen and parts of Oman near the border producing life-threatening flooding.