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NASA Tracks Freddy, Longest-lived Tropical Cyclone on Record

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Tropical Cyclone Freddy lasted more than five weeks. Once a very powerful Category 5 cyclone, Freddy first made landfall along the east coast of Madagascar on February 21st, 2023 just north of the town of Mananjary as a Category 3 cyclone with average winds reported at 130 km/h (~81 mph) with gusts up to 180 km/h (~112 mph). After crossing over Madagascar, Freddy continued westward over the Mozambique Channel before making landfall again and for the first time along the east coast of Mozambique just south of Vilankulos as a moderate tropical storm with sustained winds estimated at 50 mph. However, despite being weaker at landfall, Freddy has resulted in widespread flooding across parts of Mozambique due to the storm stalling out near the coast after making landfall. Incredibly, Freddy then drifted back out over the Mozambique Channel, nearly making landfall again along the southwest coast of Madagascar, before changing direction, re-intensifying, weakening, re-intensifying one last time, and making landfall for the 2nd time in Mozambique as a Category 1 cyclone near Quelimane with sustained winds reported at 90 mph on the 11th of March.

Video Description:
0:00 Data visualization of the Southern Hemisphere with Australia & Indonesia to the right & “Indian Ocean” labeled on the left & center. Bars at the bottom shows accumulation & precipitation rates for Tropical Cyclone Freddy. The left bar says “NASA IMERG Accumulation since 6 February, 2023," with a scale from dark green (low) to dark purple (very high). The right scale reads “NASA IMERG Precipitation Rate, 3-hour average” & goes from white (very low) to dark blue (medium) & light yellow-green (very high). A small scale shows the storm category ranging from “Depression/Storm” in gray to Category 5 in dark red.

0:01 That description applies throughout. A blue spiral blob, the storm, appears between Indonesia & Northwest Australia.

0:03 Text in the lower left says “voice of George Huffman, Project Scientist, Global Precipitation Measurement Mission, NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center.” The camera follows Freddy as it leaves a trail of green & purple blobs indicating rain accumulation. The “Freddy” label changes color to match its change in strength.

0:11 A closer framing of the storm viz shows Freddy's origin between Indonesia & Australia.

0:17 The map dissolves to show Freddy increasing in intensity to a Category 5 storm as it nears Madagascar.

0:25 The map dissolves back to wider framing where the long east to west track of Freddy is visible, leaving trails of green & purple rain accumulation data behind.

0:39 The map dissolves to a close-up of Freddy having reached Category 5 headed for the east coast of Madagascar. Freddy crosses the bottom half of Madagascar & heads to Mozambique in eastern Africa where it makes landfall.

0:49 A photo in the bottom right of the screen shows widespread mudslides in Mozambique with trapped vehicles & lots of debris & people walking around in the aftermath.

0:53 Still closer framed, Freddy moves in an irregular loop over Mozambique, with lots of higher rates of rain & accumulation indicated by dark blues & purples.

1:05 Image of a huge cyclonic cloud with an eye that makes landfall on Mozambique. This is from the satellite Meteosat-9 & shows the day * night cycle as Freddy approaches land.

1:10 Back to the IMERG viz of Freddy’s long track across the Indian Ocean. It dissolves to show the end of Freddy over Mozambique with the track & accumulation data behind. Mozambique & Madagascar are covered in purples, dark blues & greens indicating high levels of rain rate & accumulation.

1:17 The same viz shows “Freddy” & clouds fade out, leaving the storm track & accumulation data as the camera slowly zooms.

1:21 The NASA logo, a blue circle with a red stylized arrow & a white orbit path around white letters reading “NASA”

Music: “Enlightenment,” Universal Production Music

Ryan Fitzgibbons (KBRwyle):
Lead Producer
Lead Editor

Aaron E. Lepsch (ADNET):
Technical Support

George Huffman (NASA/GSFC):
Lead Scientist
Lead Narrator

B. Jason West (ADNET):
Lead Visualizer

Stephen Lang (SSAI):
Lead Writer

This video can be freely shared and downloaded at https://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/14312.
While the video in its entirety can be shared without permission, the music and some individual imagery may have been obtained through permission and may not be excised or remixed in other products. Specific details on such imagery may be found here: https://svs.nasa.gov/14312. For more information on NASA’s media guidelines, visit https://nasa.gov/multimedia/guidelines.
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Australia, Freddy, GPM
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