- Dangerous cyclone Freddie will hit Madagascar early this week.
- Next, she’ll head to Mozambique late this week.
- It can cause damaging winds, storm surges, floods and life-threatening mudslides.
- The cyclone has made a rare path across the entire southern Indian Ocean basin.
The powerful Cyclone Freddy in the southern Indian Ocean poses a serious threat to Madagascar and parts of southern Africa this week.
Here’s what you need to know about this storm, including where it is now, forecasts, and some perspective on how unusual this storm is. (Note: What we refer to as hurricanes in the basins of the Atlantic and eastern Pacific Oceans are known as hurricanes in the Indian Ocean.)
F reddy has been intense for days: Hurricane Freddie is a Category 4 hurricane as of Monday evening (US time). Its intensity peaked as a Category 5 over the weekend.
Its course is dangerous for Madagascar: Freddy is expected to move west-southwest into Madagascar by Tuesday evening (US time), likely as a Category 3 hurricane or stronger.
Freddie can then track down in South Africa: Freddy may continue west after hitting Madagascar and possibly push into Mozambique late this week, though how aggressively Freddy will trade remains to be seen.
Here are Freddy’s threats: Heavy rains, floods and serious landslides in hilly or mountainous terrain are a hazard, no matter how strong Freddy’s winds are in Madagascar and in parts of southern Africa. Damaging winds and storm flooding are also major concerns, especially near the center of Freddy as it moves into eastern Madagascar. This will happen just one month after Madagascar was hit by Cyclone Chineso’s winds and torrential rains, killing at least 33 people.
Reddy will be one of the basin’s longest-running stormsFreddy first formed off the coast of southern Indonesia on February 6. According to the NOAA Best Track database, for all hurricanes in the southern Indian Ocean that have become at least Category 1 in intensity, Only one has been traced from near Indonesia all the way to Madagascar. This was Hurricane Ellen/Leon in February 2000.
Line E/Lyon was destroyed: This cyclone struck Madagascar as a Category 1 storm, then rapidly intensified to Category 4 before hitting central Mozambique. It continued on to Zimbabwe before its remnants continued into northern Botswana and Namibia, an exceptionally long track inland over southern Africa. This storm along with a tropical depression earlier in the month caused devastating floods in Mozambique, Zimbabwe and South Africa in February 2000.
The Weather Company’s primary journalistic mission is to report on breaking weather, the environment, and the importance of science to our lives. This story does not necessarily represent the position of its parent company, IBM.