Desert Locust Alert: Tropical Cyclone Sagar (Gulf of Aden)
A rare tropical cyclone formed in the Gulf of Aden between Yemen and northern Somalia late on Wednesday, 16 May 2018. The cyclone, Sagar (TC01A), threatens to bring rains and dangerous flash flooding to desert areas of southern Yemen, northern Somalia and Djibouti.
On Thursday, the centre of the cyclone was about 400 km east of Aden, Yemen. Showers and thunderstorms were reported in the coast of southern Yemen west and east of Aden and on the coast of northern Somalia near Berbera.
By today (Friday), Sagar had gained strength with estimated tropical storm force winds. Heavy rainfall, up to about 50 to 125 mm could fall in coastal areas and cause flooding. Heavier rains up to 250 mm could fall in the escarpment and plateau of northwestern Somalia.
Sagar is expected to continue west-southwestwards making landfall in northwest Somalia or perhaps Djibouti on about Saturday, 19 May.
Since satellite monitoring and tracking began in 1964, only two tropical cyclones have moved into the western Gulf of Aden, cyclone Megh (November 2015) and TS1A (May 29184). Tropical cyclones are common in the Arabian Sea during spring and autumn, associated with the southwest winds responsible for the summer monsoon in India and Pakistan.
As the Desert Locust situation remains calm in all countries, the impact of Sagar on Desert Locust is likely to be limited. Nevertheless, any heavy rains that fall could eventually cause breeding conditions to become favourable, primarily along the southern coast of Yemen and in parts of the Horn of Africa.