Tropical Cyclone Chapala Makes Landfall in Yemen

Tropical Cyclone Chapala made landfall in Yemen just west of Al Mukalla as the equivalent of a hurricane.  At 10:00 p.m. EDT on Monday the center of Tropical Cyclone Chapala was located at latitude 13.9°N and longitude 48.7°E which put it 30 miles (50 km) south of Al Mukalla, Yemen.  Chapala was moving toward the west-northwest at 10 m.p.h. (16 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 85 m.p.h. (135 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 105 m.p.h. (170 km/).  The minimum surface pressure was 979 mb.

Tropical Cyclone Chapala reached the western end of the ridge that was steering it toward the west and it turned north toward the coast of Yemen on Monday.  When Chapala reached the western end of the ridge, southerly winds in the upper levels generated vertical wind shear and the circulation of the tropical cyclone tilted toward the north.  In addition, as the core of the circulation neared the coast, it drew in drier air from the Arabian peninsula.  The combination of more wind shear and drier air started to weaken Chapala, but the tropical cyclone was still the equivalent of a hurricane when it made landfall.

The core of Tropical Cyclone Chapala will bring strong winds and heavy rain to the coast.  Although Chapala will weaken fairly quickly as it moves into the dry interior of the Arabian peninsula, the circulation will be capable of producing locally heavy rainfall and flash floods as the tropical cyclone spins down.