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Climate Change

Cyclone Freddy, 1st Category 5 Storm In 2023, To Slam Madagascar (Video)

Cyclone Freddy is on track to hammer Madagascar with extreme winds and significant flooding early this week. The first Category 5 storm of 2023, Freddy is the second-strongest of only five February Category 5 storms ever recorded.

Video above: International Space Station Views Cyclone Freddy from Space

Cyclone Freddy has weakened somewhat over the weekend as dry air reduced its intensity, but it could still hit Madagascar as a Category 3 or Category 4 storm on Tuesday with winds around 130 mph.

Along with threats of dangerous coastal surge and wind damage, the storm brings heightened flooding threats because it closely follows Cyclone Cheneso in late January, which killed at least 33 people, left 34,000 homeless, and saturated soils across the island nation [and barely garnered any Western media coverage, including in Hot News — Ed.].

Courtesy of Nexus Media, with slight modifications based on storm updates. More Cyclone Freddy coverage: Washington Post $, Yale Climate Connections.

VIIRS satellite image of Tropical Cyclone Freddy on Feb. 16, 2023. (Image credit: NASA Worldview)

“According to the Joint Typhoon Warning Center, Freddy peaked with 165 mph winds at 0Z Feb. 16 (7 p.m. EST Feb. 15). According to NOAA’s historical hurricane tracks website, this makes Freddy one of only five category 5 storms ever recorded in February on Earth. The only February storm stronger than Freddy (by wind speed) was Tropical Cyclone Winston of 2016, which peaked with 180 mph winds near Fiji on Feb. 20, 2016,” reports Yale Climate Connections.

Related Story: Cyclone Lashes New Zealand

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