Weird Weather Watch: Cyclone in the Middle East

| Thu Jun. 7, 2007 1:29 PM PDT

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Oman, a country in the Middle East, was hit by a cyclone (another name for a hurricane) yesterday, killing 23 and causing severe flooding and the evacuation of 60,000 residents. Although it was not an especially powerful storm in absolute terms, Cyclone Gonu was the strongest to hit Oman since record keeping began in 1945. That's because Oman is usually where storms limp off to die after wreaking havoc on Southeast Asia.

Iran will likely be hit today, but the storm has weakened significantly. Nonetheless, its threat to oil pipelines caused a spike in gas prices, which are already at record highs. These are the kind of ironies that global warming will continue to deliver—you get to chuckle at fossil-fueled climate change unsettling the oil market, but, in the end, high prices and 60,000 displaced people aren't really that funny.

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