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Yemen Faced Rare Second Tropical Cyclone Landfall After Megh Struck Socotra

By By Kristina Pydynowski, senior meteorologist
November 10, 2015, 4:08:46 AM EST

Two tropical cyclones making landfall in Yemen in one season is virtually unheard of, but it happened this year with Megh closely following in the footsteps of Chapala.

Generally, Yemen is only impacted by the remains of cyclones after they weaken.

AccuWeather.com Meteorologist Jim Andrews says that "Having two landfalling tropical cyclones in Yemen in a single season is unheard of in the modern era." 


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Much like Chapala, Megh tracked across the Gulf of Aden before making landfall just northeast of Aden Tuesday morning after pounding the island of Socotra in the Arabian Sea on Sunday. Megh took a track slightly farther south than Chapala, but still impacted many of the same communities that endured the recent powerful cyclone's wrath.

Megh did not strengthen into the equivalent of a Category 4 hurricane such as Chapala, but delivered a more devastating blow to Socotra.

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Megh made landfall across the eastern portion of Socotra with maximum sustained winds of 203 km/h (127 mph), equivalent of a Category 3 hurricane just before noon local time on Sunday. Chapala passed to the north of Socotra.

“At peak intensity, Tropical Cyclone Chapala (04A) was the equivalent to a Category 4 hurricane in the Atlantic or eastern Pacific Ocean on [Oct. 30], making it one of the strongest cyclones on record in the Arabian Sea,” stated AccuWeather Meteorologist Eric Leister.

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“There will be a flooding threat, especially considering the mountainous desert terrain of the region,” said AccuWeather Meteorologist Adam Douty.

As Megh continues over Yemen, it will continue to rapidly weaken as dry air cuts off tropical moisture the cyclone needs to survive. Even so any downpours can quickly result in flash flooding.

Content contributed by AccuWeather Meteorologists Eric Leister, Rob Richards and Brett Rathbun.

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