Tropical Cyclone to Slam Somalia With Flooding Rain & Wind


By Erik Pindrock, Meteorologist

Flooding rain and gusty winds will impact Somalia on Sunday and continue into the beginning of the upcoming week thanks to a tropical cyclone which developed across the western Arabian Sea Friday night, local time.

Tropical Cyclone Three (03A) acquired tropical characteristics thanks to a favorable environment of warm ocean water temperatures and low wind shear.

The Cyclone, which is the equivalent of a minimal tropical storm, will bring a widespread 100-200 mm (4-8 inches) of rain with locally higher amounts right at the coast and over the higher terrain through Monday. This amount of rain will cause life-threatening flooding and the potential for mudslides in the mountains.

Winds of 50-100 kph (approximately 30-60 mph) will impact eastern portions of Somalia Sunday into Monday as the cyclone moves ashore. In addition, rough surf and coastal flooding can be expected Saturday into Sunday along the eastern shores of Somalia.

Satellite Image of Tropical Cyclone 03A from late Saturday night, local time, courtesy of NOAA
Landfall of Tropical Cyclone 03A is expected Sunday night, local time, which is when the strongest winds are expected to occur.

After making landfall, Tropical Cyclone 03A will lose its tropical characteristics early in the upcoming week, but heavier areas of rain will still accompany the center of circulation as it swirls inland across northern Somalia or perhaps into eastern Ethiopia through midweek.

The Arabian Sea is typically one of the quieter regions when it comes to tropical development, but it is not uncommon for cyclones to spin up.

About 1-2 tropical cyclones form in the Arabian Sea each year, and November tends to be a climatologically favorable time for a system to spin up.

The last cyclone to strike Somalia was just last year in late December of 2012.