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    Tropical Cyclone Strikes the Horn of Africa

    October 25, 2012, 3:37:19 AM EDT

    Murjan was making a unusual tropical cyclone landfall in Somalia on Thursday.

    The west-bound storm was on track to land near Raas Xaafuun, the eastern tip of the African mainland.

    Ahead of landfall, top sustained winds were pegged at 40 mph, or marginally above the tropical storm threshold, by the Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC). Storm movement was towards the was at more than 15 mph.


    Visible satellite shot as of 1200 UTC Thursday, Oct. 25, 2012, shows Tropical Cyclone nearing landfall in Somalia, a little south of Raas Xaafuun. (Navy Research Lab Monterey - NRLMRY)

    Drenching thunderstorms had already spread ashore in northern Somalia, ahead of Murjan, as it was being upgraded to named storm status.

    Further thunderstorms, potentially unleashing flooding rains, will spread westward through Friday over the Horn of Africa as Murjan heads inland and dissipates.

    Along with northern Somalia, eastern Ethiopia and Djibouti could see locally excessive rain and flash flooding, owing to Murjan's downpours.

    Being of moderate strength, Murjan was not posing a serious threat of widespread, damaging winds.

    The season's first Arabian Sea cyclone had been, as of late Wednesday, upgraded from tropical depression to named storm status by the JTWC as it skirted the island of Socotra.

    Since 1945, when detailed historical records began, about 10 tropical cyclones, mostly depressions or moderate tropical storms, have tracked near Socotra and Somalia, "best track data" from the JTWC shows. A few of these even made landfall.

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