At 12:40 p.m. local time (09:40 Universal Time) on November 2, 2015, the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite captured this image of Cyclone Chapala over the Gulf of Aden. When the image was acquired, the storm’s maximum sustained winds were 105 knots (120 miles or 195 kilometers per hour)—the equivalent of a category 3 hurricane.
According to news reports, the storm is expected to make landfall southwest of Al Mukalla, Yemen, in the early morning hours of November 3. Models suggest that by the time of landfall, Chapala will be a category 1 or 2 storm. Substantial amounts or rainfall are expected to overwhelm the typically dry region.
Tropical cyclones form in the Arabian Sea on average once or twice per year, according to Weather Underground. However, only two have hit the Peninsula since reliable records started in 1979.
NASA image by Jeff Schmaltz, LANCE/EOSDIS Rapid Response. Caption by Kathryn Hansen.