Update: Tropical Cyclone Luban in Arabian Sea Could Threaten Oman, Yemen

October 9, 2018

Tropical Cyclone Luban has strengthened in the Arabian Sea to the equivalent of a Category 1 hurricane, according to Ann Arbor, Mich.-based Weather Underground, quoting the U.S. Joint Typhoon Warning Center.

The tropical cyclone is expected to weaken to a tropical storm again this weekend when it makes its closest approach to Oman and Yemen. Heavy rain could bring a dangerous flood threat to parts of those countries, said the Weather Underground report which was authored by Linda Lam.

It’s also possible Luban could turn farther westward and move into the Gulf of Aden.

Arabian Sea Tropical Cyclone History

Tropical cyclone are most likely to develop in the Arabian Sea in the spring and fall. The good news is that a landfall at the equivalent strength of a hurricane is rare in western Oman or eastern Yemen because they typically weaken as they approach the Arabian Peninsula due to dry desert air, said the report.

Two tropical cyclones have hit the region this year. The first was Sagar, which entered the Gulf of Aden and made landfall in western Somalia on May 19, making it the country’s strongest and westernmost tropical cyclone in records dating to the mid-1960s.

Then on May 25, Tropical Cyclone Mekunu made landfall along the coast of Oman, southwest of the city of Salalah. Mekunu was the equivalent of a Category 3 hurricane at landfall, making it the strongest in southwestern Oman in modern records. Over 24 inches of rain fell in four days in Salalah.

The only other Category 3 landfalls on record anywhere in Oman happened in northern Oman. These were Phet in 2010 and Gonu in 2007, said Weather Underground, quoting NOAA’s historical database.

Source: Weather Underground

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