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Mon Jun 04, 2007

Very Severe Cyclonic Storm Gonu Threatens Oman

In yesterday morning's post I mentioned that Tropical Cyclone 02A in the Arabian Sea had just been named by RSMC New Delhi (a.k.a. the India Meteorological Department, or IMD) as Cyclonic Storm Gonu. Since then the storm has developed rapidly and was recently upgraded to Very Severe Cyclonic Storm Gonu, a Saffir-Simpson Category 4 storm as measured by Joint Typhoon Warning Center wind speed estimates. While Gonu wandered for much of the last 24 hours, it has recently assumed a more definite course which, if maintained, will bring it ashore on the northeast coast of Oman on the Arabian Peninsula. With JTWC estimating central pressure of 927 millibars (hPa) and maximum 1-minute sustained wind speed of 115 knots (213 km/hr), this is a formidable storm which continues to gain strength as it spins across the Arabian Sea.

Very Strong Cyclonic Storm GONU
Very Strong Cyclonic Storm GONU, Infrared Image at 0100 UTC 4 June 2007,
showing a sharply defined eye. The eastern Arabian Peninsula lies to the left.
Photo courtesy Naval Research Lab (NRL)

I wish to offer apology to the India Meteorological Department for my criticism yesterday regarding the lack of early international bulletins issued on this storm. In reality, the IMD was issuing bulletins from the time Gonu was an unnamed tropical depression. However, possibly due to a non-standard data transmission format, these bulletins are not being picked up and displayed on the World Meteorological Organization Severe Weather Information Centre website. Even now, with Gonu having reached a critical intensity level, it does not appear on the world map. While my criticism may have been misdirected, it was certainly not without merit. Both the IMD and the WMO should immediately take appropriate actions to resolve this issue.

Very Strong Cyclonic Storm GONU
Very Strong Cyclonic Storm GONU, Visible Image at 0230 UTC 4 June 2007,
showing the eye and an extensive cloud shield in the southwest quadrant of the storm.
Photo courtesy Naval Research Lab (NRL)

Keep yourself up to date on this and other tropical cyclones by visiting our Tropical Storm, Typhoon & Hurricane Tracking Center.

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Posted by: The Spidermaster on Jun 04, 07 | 3:45 am | Profile

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