As Hurricane Sandy batters the Americas, two other tropical systems are also strengthening elsewhere in the world.
The Horn of Africa
In the Arabian Sea, the first tropical cyclone of the 2012 season has formed. Tropical Storm Murjan is heading towards the northeast coast of Somalia and is expected to make landfall later today.
Strong thunderstorms have formed around the storm’s centre, and the rainfall is estimated to be over 40mm per hour. This will cause widespread flooding and devastation across the region, which is ill-prepared to deal with tropical systems.
There is also the added complication that the ground across the Horn of Africa is baked hard by the sun, meaning that it can’t easily absorb the water and it will sit on the surface forming vast areas of flooding.
The other storm has just crossed the Philippines.
The eye of Tropical Storm Son-Tinh swept across the islands of Samar and Mindoro, delivering up to 180mm in some locations.
The storm is now clearing away from the islands, but it is expected to strengthen as it crosses the South China Sea.
It is forecast to make landfall in Vietnam on October 28, as a Tropical Cyclone, the equivalent of a category one hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson scale. At the moment the storm is expected to make landfall half way between Hue and Hanoi, but of course in the coming few days the track might change.
Those living in or visiting Vietnam are advised to keep a very close eye on the forecast over the next few days.