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Quiet tropics; aftermath of Gonu

By: Dr. Jeff Masters, 1:34 PM GMT on June 11, 2007

The tropical Atlantic continues to be quiet, which is typical for this time of year. Wind shear across the June breeding grounds for June tropical systems--the Gulf of Mexico, Western Caribbean, and Bahamian waters--is expected to remain high this week, which should discourage any tropical storms from forming. None of the computer models are forecasting any tropical development this week. Unless there's a significant change, I won't discuss the tropics until Friday, when I'll post my bi-monthly Atlantic hurricane season outlook.

Tropical Cyclone Gonu
While I was away on vacation last week, a rather remarkable Category 5 cyclone developed in the Arabian Sea and struck Oman and Iran. Gonu is the first Category 4 or higher storm recorded in the Arabian Sea since the satellite era began in 1970. The last significant tropical cyclone to affect Oman was in 1890, when a storm hit the Gulf of Oman coast and Muscat, killing 700 people. Lesser cyclones affected the area in 1945 and 1977. The View From the Surface blog has an excellent summary of the aftermath of Gonu.

Figure 1. Rainfall estimates from NASA's TRMM satellite for the 8-day period May 31-June 7, 2007. Some regions of Oman and Iran received 200 mm (8 inches) of rain from the storm, equal to double their average annual rainfall. Image credit: NASA Earth Observatory.

Jeff Masters

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