Third storm in the Arabian Sea in 2018

Third storm in the Arabian Sea in 2018

The natural-colour image of cyclone Luban in the early afternoon of 11 October, 2018 when it was centred about 400 km southeast of Salah, Oman, and moving westward at just 4km/hr. per hour). Winds are 120kph and maximum wave heights are 8m.

Forecasters predict that Luban will make landfall in Yemen as a tropical storm on October 13 or 14.

The region is a major crossroads for ships passing from the Atlantic and Mediterranean to the Indian Ocean by way of the Suez Canal and Strait of Hormuz.

Twelve cyclones have formed in the region since 2010, but very few reach the Arabian Peninsula at cyclone strength; they usually weaken to tropical storms as dry desert air and wind shear sap their energy.

Some atmospheric scientists argue that increasing air pollution—particularly an increase in aerosols—over the northern Indian Ocean has likely reduced vertical wind shear, a phenomenon that could alter monsoon weather patterns and allow more cyclones to form. (NASA)