Gati is the strongest tropical cyclone to make landfall in Somalia and the strongest ever recorded in this part of the world


Tropical Cyclone "Gati" made landfall over Cape Hafun, Puntland, Somalia at around 15:00 UTC on November 22, 2020, with a maximum 3-minute average wind speed of 130 – 140 km/h (80 – 87 mph) — Very Severe Cyclonic Storm / equivalent to a Category 2 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson scale. According to the JTWC, 1-minute maximum sustained winds at the time of landfall were 167 km/h (103 mph).

Gati is the strongest known tropical cyclone to make landfall in Somalia and the strongest ever recorded in this part of the planet — further south than any category 3 equivalent cyclone in the North Indian Ocean, according to Sam Lillo, a researcher with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Physical Sciences Laboratory.

In addition, its rapid intensification from 65 km/h (40 mph) to 185 km/h (115 mph) in just 12 hours is the largest on record in the entire basin.

Tropical Cyclone "Gati" on November 22, 2020. Credit: NASA/NOAA Suomi NPP/VIIRS

Puntland state authorities are reporting 8 casualties, as of early Monday morning (UTC), severe flooding, collapsed homes, communications cut off and fishing boats capsized.

At least 5 Yemeni fishermen were killed on Sunday evening in the coastal strip of the state.

The center of Gati has now exited land and its maximum sustained winds, according to the JTWC, have weakened from peak 185 km/h (115 mph) at 06:00 UTC on November 22 to 75 km/h (45 mph) at 06:00 UTC on November 23. The storm is moving WNW at 15 km/h (9 mph).

W to WSW motion is expected over the next 24 hours along the northern coast of Somalia.

Meteorologists warned parts of the state might receive two years' worth of rain or more in just 48 hours. Northern Somalia's average annual rainfall is 102 mm (4 inches).

​Gati formed early November 22 in the Arabian Sea, just east of Somalia, as the 3rd named storm of the below-average 2020 North Indian Ocean cyclone season. 

Featured image: Tropical Cyclone "Gati" on November 22, 2020. Credit: NASA/NOAA Suomi NPP/VIIRS


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