Flooding rain and gusty winds will impact Somalia this weekend 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 100-200 mm (4-8 inches) of rain with locally higher amounts right at the coast and over the higher terrain beginning Saturday and continuing 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 beginning Saturday night and lasting through Sunday night. In addition, rough surf and coastal flooding can be expected Saturday into Sunday along the eastern shores of Somalia.
Landfall of Tropical Cyclone 03A is expected Sunday afternoon or evening, local time, which is when the strongest winds are expected to occur.
After making landfall, Tropical Cyclone 03A will loose 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.