Tropical Cyclone "Shaheen-Gulab" makes historic landfall in Oman

Tropical Cyclone

Tropical Cyclone "Shaheen-Gulab" made landfall between Al Masnaah and Al-Suwaiq, Oman, about 80 km (50 miles) WNW of the capital city of Muscat on October 3, 2021, with maximum sustained winds between 120 and 150 km/h (75 - 93 mph). Shaheen brought extremely heavy rains and waves up to 10 m (32 feet). Tropical cyclones have previously hit northern Oman, but none came as far west as this one.

Schools have been closed, flights suspended and thousands of people evacuated from coastal areas in Oman ahead of the storm. However, three people, including one child, died due to landslides and flooding ahead of landfall.

At least 6 people died in Iran, where infrastructure, including electrical facilities and roads, was damaged in Chabahar, Sistan-Baluchestan Province.1

Shaheen has brought torrential rains and flash flooding to a desert climate, in some cases dumping a year’s worth of rain or more in a single day.2

Al Amarat in eastern Muscat received 136.6 mm (5.38 inches) of rain in the 24 hours to 12:00 UTC on October 3, while Muscat’s Seeb International Airport recorded 73 mm (2.87 inches) in the 24 hours to 15:00 UTC. The average October rainfall for Muscat is 0.8 millimeters (0.03 inches), and the average yearly rainfall is 89.7 mm (3.59 inches).

Total rainfall brought by the cyclone was expected to reach more than 500 mm (20 inches) in parts of the region.

While tropical cyclones have hit Oman previously, none came as far west as Shaheen-Gulab. Another unique thing about Shaheen is that it crossed the Gulf of Oman from northeast to southwest. All other cyclones affecting the northern coast of Oman arrived from the south rather than from the gulf itself.2

Tropical Cyclone "Shaheen-Gulab" on October 3, 2021. Credit: NOAA-20/VIIRS

Image credit: JTWC


1 Shaheen: Tropical cyclone batters Oman and Iran, killing nine - BBC

2 Shaheen pushes onshore as first tropical cyclone on record in far north Oman - Yale Climate Connections

Featured image credit: Tropical Cyclone "Shaheen-Gulab" on October 3, 2021. Credit: NOAA-20/VIIRS


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