Dangerous Tropical Cyclone Megh Nearing Socotra Island

Megh intensified rapidly Saturday into a dangerous tropical cyclone as it neared Socotra Island, Yemen.  At 10:00 p.m. EDT on Saturday the center of Tropical Cyclone Megh was located at latitude 12.8°N and longitude 55.5°E which put it about 105 miles (170 km) east of Socotra Island, Yemen.  Megh was moving toward the west at 13 m.p.h. (21 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 130 m.p.h. (210 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 150 m.p.h. (240 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 939 mb.

Tropical Cyclone Megh is the equivalent of a major hurricane even though it is a small storm.  Megh is a very symmetrical cyclone.  It has a five mile (8 km) wide eye which is surrounded by a ring of strong thunderstorms.  The convection in the core is generating upper level divergence which in pumping out mass.  Tropical storm force winds extend out 50 miles (80 km) from the center.

Tropical Cyclone Megh will remain in a favorable environment until it reaches Socotra Island.  It is over water where the Sea Surface Temperature is near 28°C.  The upper level winds are light and there is vertical wind shear.  Megh could intensify further until it reaches Socotra.  It should weaken when the core of the circulation interacts with island.

A subtropical ridge north of Megh is steering the tropical cyclone toward the west and that general motion is expected to continue for several more days.  On its anticipated track Tropical Cyclone Megh will reach Socotra Island in a few hours.  it is capable of producing wind damage and flooding.  Since Tropical Cyclone Chapala recently caused damage on Socotra, the impact of Tropical Cyclone Megh could be significant.