Cyclone Freddy Sets World Record For Longest-Surviving Tropical Storm

Bhubaneswar: With further strengthening anticipated, Cyclone Freddy that has spent 31 days traversing essentially the entire length of the Indian Ocean is likely to surpass Typhoon John in the Pacific Ocean from 1994, which survived 31 days, as the longest-lasting tropical storm ever on Earth, according to the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO).

Freddy developed off the North Australian coast on February 6 and wreaked havoc in south-eastern Africa in late February, killing 21 people. It is now in the Mozambique channel and is expected to make landfall again in Mozambique later this week after it struck Madagascar for a second time on Monday.

Some 8,000 people have been displaced in the previous two landfalls. Madagascar received around three times its usual monthly average rainfall in the past week alone.

The cyclone was situated just off the west coast of Madagascar on Tuesday afternoon with maximum sustained winds of 100 mph—the equivalent of a Category 2 hurricane in the northern hemisphere, the Forbes reported.

“Meteorologically, Freddy has been a remarkable storm,” WMO said in a press release, adding that its journey across the entire Indian Ocean and onto Madagascar “is very rare”.

According to the US space agency NASA, Freddy has also set the record for having the highest accumulated cyclone energy (ACE) of any southern hemisphere storm in history.

Though it is expected to weaken as it moves over Mozambique this weekend, how and when the storm will eventually dissipate remains unclear, the report added.

The Weather and Climate Extremes evaluation committee of the UN said that it would probably set up an investigation into this “remarkable” and “rare occurrence” after the cyclone has dissipated.

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