The northern hemisphere’s quietest tropical cyclone basin is currently going off. Cyclone Kyarr formed on Thursday and quickly spun up in the Indian Ocean into the most powerful storm on the planet. While the storm won’t have a huge impact on land, it’s already making its present felt in the record books in what’s been a weird and bad year in general for tropical cyclones, a classification that includes tropical storms, hurricanes, and typhoons as well.
Cyclone Kyarr rapidly intensified over the weekend, going from the equivalent of a Category 2 to Category 4 storm in just six hours on Saturday. It’s currently packing winds of around 150 mph, putting it on the high end of Category 4. That makes it a “super cyclonic storm,” according to the Indian Meteorological Department. It’s also the first such system to form in the Arabian Sea since June 2007’s Cyclone Gonu. That system made landfall in the Middle East, inflicting the most widespread damage in Oman despite weakening considerably by landfall.