The main purpose of this ongoing blog will be to track planetary extreme or record temperatures related to climate change. Any reports I see of ETs will be listed below the main topic of the day. I’ll refer to extreme or record temperatures as ETs (not extraterrestrials).😉
Main Topic: Shaheen…An Odd Historic Tropical System Probably Affected By Climate Change
Dear Diary. Each tropical season I look for systems which are so odd, extremely strong, or out of place that they can be stated to have been affected by climate change. Shaheen, which made landfall in Oman, would definitely be one that was out of place, where organized tropical systems have never gone to, and might be attributed to climate change in any future studies.
Let’s look at my check list, which I present at least once per season:
Here are attributable climate change factors researchers are looking with any tropical cyclone:
1) Record strength per relatively high latitude (For example, if Florence had moved near Wilmington, NC or further north as a cat 4 this would have been the farthest north a cat 4 or higher system had made landfall in the U.S.)
2) Record or near record low pressure and corresponding record high sustained wind speed (Wilma from 2005 holds that record over the Atlantic Basin at 882 millibars.)
3) Longevity of maintaining a relatively high wind speed. (Irma set some records for this over the central Atlantic in 2017.)
4) Record rainfall after landfall (Harvey set many records for totals in 2017.)
5) Stalling, becoming trapped underneath a warm ridge either before or after landfall. (Harvey was the poster child for this effect.)
6) Record or near record rapid intensification
7) Record late or early season tropical cyclones for any given ocean basin
8) Record length of time a tropical system is able to maintain depression status or higher once moving inland
9) Forming over “odd” locations of an ocean basin not traditionally seeing tropical development
10) Seeing numerous simultaneous systems over the world’s oceans
I can point to Shaheen as having a distinct climate change signature, which falls under category nine on my list.
For many more details here is a great summary by my friends Dr. Jeff Masters and Bob Henson:
Shaheen claims at least 13 lives in historic Oman landfall
Torrential rains inundate a desert landscape.
Suomi-NPP infrared image of Cyclone Shaheen (also referred to as Shaheen-Gulab) approaching the northern coast of Oman as a Category 1 storm at 0927Z (5:27 a.m. EDT) Sunday, October 3, 2021. (Image credit: CIMSS Satellite Blog
At least 13 deaths have been attributed to Tropical Cyclone Shaheen, which made landfall late Sunday night, October 3, near Al Suwaiq, about 75 miles west-northwest of the Omani capital city of Muscat. Shaheen was the first cyclone on record to enter the Gulf of Oman from the east and strike the north coast of Oman. Shaheen had weakened from minimal Category 1 strength just before landfall, arriving with top sustained winds of 55 knots (63 mph), according to the Joint Typhoon Warning Center. Al Suwaiq recorded sustained winds of 52 mph at 12:08 p.m. EDT Sunday, October 3.
Omani authorities reported 11 deaths in Oman, BBC reported, and two fishermen were found dead in Iran. Two of the Omani deaths were in a house destroyed by a mudslide. Videos on social media showed multiple motorists caught in high water.
The dramatic video below, from Oman’s National Committee for Emergency Management, shows a rescue in a wadi (a normally dry river channel) just inland from the coastal community of Al Suwayq, near where Shaheen made landfall.
Shaheen’s winds at landfall were weaker than had been predicted, as a leftward turn brought Shaheen onshore sooner than expected, giving it less time to intensify. The turn spared the major shipping port of Sohar, where normal operations had resumed by Monday, according to the Muscat Daily.
Incredible rainfall reported
Shaheen 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. Al Suwaiq picked up an astounding 294.2 millimeters (11.58 inches) in the 48 hours starting at 8 a.m. EDT Saturday, October 1, with 279.4 mm (11.00 in) in the 24 hours starting at 8 a.m. EDT Sunday. Other impressive two-day storm totals through 8 a.m. Monday were 146.8 mm (5.78 in) at Al Amarat, just south of Muscat, and 94.6 mm (3.72 in) at Muscat International Airport in Seeb. For perspective, the average October rainfall for Muscat is 0.8 millimeters (0.03 inches), and the average yearly rainfall is 89.7 millimeters (3.59 inches).
The Joint Typhoon Warning Center used the name Cyclone Shaheen-Gulab for the storm, alluding to its origins in the Bay of Bengal. At least 20 deaths in India were blamed on Gulab, which regrouped in the Arabian Sea on September 30 and was renamed Cyclone Shaheen by the India Meteorological Department.
How unusual was Shaheen?
Only a handful of tropical cyclones have been recorded in the Gulf of Oman, and none made it so far west as Shaheen did. The strongest, Cyclone Gonu, rampaged across the western Arabian Sea in June 2007 as a Category 5 equivalent – that sea’s strongest cyclone ever recorded. Gonu brushed the eastern tip of Oman before making landfall as a tropical depression in southern Iran, becoming that nation’s only tropical cyclone on record. In 2010, Cyclone Phet followed a roughly similar track toward the eastern tip of Oman before angling further east.
Even in this rarefied group, Shaheen was unique, crossing 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. Shaheen fed off warm surface waters of 29-30 degrees Celsius (84-86°F) as well as unusually low wind shear, which typically quashes tropical cyclones in the gulf by driving parched desert air into their circulations.
Here are some “ET’s” reported on Tuesday:
Here is more climate and weather news from Tuesday:
(As usual, this will be a fluid post in which more information gets added during the day as it crosses my radar, crediting all who have put it on-line. Items will be archived on this site for posterity. In most instances click on the pictures of each tweet to see each article. The most noteworthy items will be listed first.)
Now here are some of today’s articles and notes on the horrid COVID-19 pandemic:
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Guy Walton “The Climate Guy”