Yemen faces its second-ever cyclone a week after its first

Yemen is facing its second tropical cyclone in a a week as Cyclone Megh strengthens off the coast.

Cyclone Chapala last week became the first tropical cyclone to make landfall on the Arabian Peninsula in 30 years of record-keeping.

NASA’s Aqua satellite has captured data on the strengthening storm, imaging it with the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer or MODIS instrument.

Maximum sustained winds are 45 knots or 83.3 km/h.

Forecasters at the Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC) expect Megh to intensify to hurricane-strength, up to 75 knots before passing over the tip of Cape Gardafui, Somalia and curve over the Gulf of Aden where it will encounter cooler waters and increasing vertical wind shear which are expected to weaken it.

JTWC expects Megh will make landfall near Aden, Yemen on 11 November.

That would make it the first recorded case in which two hurricanes to hit Yemen within just one week. 

The cyclone will bring heavy rain to both Yemen and Saudi Arabia.

Head of the Saudi Meteorology Department and Director of the Center of Excellence for Climate Change Research at King Abdulaziz University, Dr. Mansour Al-Mazroui, said the storms were caused by the rising temperatures of the Indian Ocean.

Cyclone Chapala dumped 610 millimetres of rain on the southern Yemen coast over 48 hours –700% of the country’s average yearly precipitation. The storm caused severe flooding along the coast, including in Al Mukalla, the nation’s fifth-largest city.

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