CSUN world atlas.
Elaine Meinel Supkis
Like two years ago, cyclones are forming very rapidly when they get going. Wilma, for example, wandered in to the Gulf of Mexico and in less than two hours, broke all records going from a Catagory 1 to a high Catagory 5 hurricane. In Australia, this happened too. A seemingly innoculous storm suddenly shot up in speed and caused devastation. Andrew did this too. It went from a 1 to a 5 while offshore of Florida. It completely destroyed everything in its path. This cyclone heading towards Oman and Iran will flood much of the region. And the 45 foot waves are stopping oil ships. And messing up our Navy that is parked over there.
Gonu dominates the flow of weather throughout South Asia at this time. This is, as of 1200 hours GMT, a full-blown Category-5 storm wielding highest sustained winds of 140-knots/260 kph (based upon the JTWC advisory). At that time, the eye of Gonu was 350 miles, or 560 kms, southeast of Sur, Oman. Movement is northwestwards at 10 knots, or more than 18 kph. Can it get stronger? I do not see how, but I did not foresee anything like what is has already become.
This Accuweather site has the best satellite photos of this storm as well as good information.
Super cyclonic storm Gonu is forecast to strike Oman at about 18:00 GMT on 5 June. Data supplied by the US Navy and Air Force Joint Typhoon Warning Center suggest that the point of landfall will be near 22.1 N, 60.7 E. Gonu is expected to bring 1-minute maximum sustained winds to the region of around 231 km/h (143 mph). Wind gusts in the area may be considerably higher.
According to the Saffir-Simpson damage scale the potential property damage and flooding from a storm of Gonu's strength (category 4) at landfall includes:
Storm surge generally 4.0-5.5 metres (13-18 feet) above normal.
Curtainwall failures with some complete roof structure failures on small residences.
Shrubs, trees, and all signs are blown down.
Complete destruction of mobile homes.
Extensive damage to doors and windows.
Low-lying escape routes may be cut by rising water 3-5 hours before arrival of the centre of the storm.
Major damage to lower floors of structures near the shore.
Terrain lower than 3 metres (10 feet) above sea level may be flooded requiring massive evacuation of residential areas as far inland as 10 km (6 miles).
We just had a tropical storm blow over our mountain here. It didn't become a hurricane but is was still very strong, we were hit by some serious wind gusts that took down branches and upset the chickens. The hummingbirds flew into our covered deck for shelter. We only got a little over an inch of rain. But this looks like a stormy summer ahead for all of us.
Tropical Cyclone Gonu weakened slightly into a Category Four storm with winds of 249 kilometers per hour (155 miles per hour) as it headed across the Arabian Sea toward the Gulf of Oman, the U.S. Navy said.
The center of the storm, where winds are gusting to as fast as 304 kilometers per hour, was 502 kilometers southeast of Muscat at 4 a.m. Oman time today, the U.S. Navy Joint Typhoon Warning Center said on its Web site. Gonu was 640 kilometers southwest of Karachi at 5 a.m. Pakistan time.
The cyclone is heading northwest at 15 kilometers per hour on a path Navy forecasters expect will take it across the Gulf of Oman, an important shipping lane for oil supplies from the Gulf. Oman's government ordered evacuations, Agence France-Presse reported, as oil traded near a two-week high over concerns about disruptions to supplies.
The Catagory 5 typhoon that clipped Australia hit their oil pumping regions. Seems Mother Nature has a thing about playing nine pins with oil rigs! This storm will affect the world's economic underpinnings which is always energy (and food!). I would strongly suggest the USA and Europe be super-nice to Iran if they get hit by this mega-storm. Instead of being hostile and nasty, we could reach out and help them. Might come in very useful later. Very useful.
Indeed, this storm will dump lots of water on Afghanistan and the watersheds that feed into Pakistan and we will see a lot of misery out of that! And I do hope the West uses this opportunity to be nicer and not nastier. Seriously. Times like these require great leaders who can think ahead and see the utility of reaching out instead of screaming like crazy...rats.
I doubt our government will do anything sane.
So I hope the people of Iran and Oman as well as Pakistan and the mountain tribes be spared the rage of Mother Nature and may this mega storm weaken further before it hits. I will be praying this for my own self this summer...I suspect we might all be praying for mercy.