Tropical Cyclone Tej is forecast to make landfall in Yemen this week, bringing significant rainfall and a flooding threat across the eastern half of the country and western parts of Oman.
At the time of writing, Tej is centred about 250 miles south of Salalah, Oman. The system is moving north-west at 10 knots, with maximum sustained winds of 100 knots, making Tej an extremely severe cyclone storm on the Indian meteorological department’s tropical cyclone intensity scale. Tej is expected to continue its northwestwards motion, making landfall early on Tuesday morning close to the Yemeni city of Al Ghaydah.
As the storm approaches the Arabian peninsula, dry air to the north of the system will be drawn into Tej’s circulation, which will start to inhibit thunderstorm development and activity and weaken the storm. Winds of 80 knots are expected at the time of landfall. In the area of Al Ghaydah, rainfall totals of 500-750mm are expected, dwarfing the annual average rainfall of 50mm. Tej will weaken rapidly after landfall.
Yemen and the south coast of the Arabian peninsula have a history of being affected by tropical storms, with an average of one storm every one to two years. Tej will be the first storm to make landfall in Yemen since a weak depression affected a similar area in May 2020. Based on the latest forecast, Tej will become only the second storm to make landfall in Yemen as a very severe cyclonic storm (equivalent to hurricane strength in the North Atlantic), the first being Tropical Cyclone Chapala in November 2015.
Further tropical activity is expected to affect parts of the south-west Pacific through the upcoming week. Tropical Cyclone Lola is moving southwards just to the east of the Solomon Islands and is expected to quickly strengthen over the next few days, bringing winds in excess of 80 knots to northern parts of Vanuatu on Tuesday and Wednesday. Increasing vertical wind shear – a change in wind speed or direction with a change in height – is expected to weaken Lola by Friday, prior to the storm reaching New Caledonia.
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