Tropical Cyclone Luban Will Threaten Oman, Yemen This Weekend

Linda Lam
Published: October 11, 2018

Tropical Cyclone Luban is spinning through the Arabian Sea and will pose a threat to Yemen and southwestern Oman by this weekend.

(MORE: Hurricane Central)

Luban is equivalent in strength to a Category 1 hurricane, according to the U.S. Joint Typhoon Warning Center.

Luban Projected Path

The tropical cyclone is expected to weaken to a tropical storm again this weekend before it makes landfall on the Yemeni coast.

That said, heavy rain will bring a dangerous flood threat to Yemen and western Oman this weekend.

It is too early for specific details on potential impacts, so be sure to check back to for updates.

Arabian Sea Tropical Cyclone History

Tropical cyclones are most likely to develop in the Arabian Sea in the spring and fall. A tropical cyclone usually affects the Arabian Peninsula every one to two years.

The good news is that a landfall at the equivalent strength of a hurricane is rare in western Oman or eastern Yemen. This is because they typically weaken as they approach the Arabian Peninsula due to dry desert air.

However, tropical cyclones have impacted the region, including two earlier this year. In May, two tropical cyclones took unusual tracks within a week of each other.

The first was Sagar, which tracked into the Gulf of Aden and made landfall in western Somalia on May 19, making it the country's strongest and westernmost tropical cyclone in records dating to the mid-1960s.

Infrared satellite image of Tropical Cyclone Mekunu making landfall along the coast of Oman, southwest of the city of Salalah, just before midnight local time on May 25, 2018.

Just a few days later, Tropical Cyclone Mekunu made landfall near Salalah, Oman. Mekunu was the equivalent of a Category 3 hurricane at landfall, making it the strongest in southwestern Oman in modern records. Over 24 inches of rain fell in four days in Salalah.

The only other Category 3 landfalls on record anywhere in Oman happened in northern Oman: Phet in 2010 and Gonu in 2007, according to NOAA's historical database.

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