After coming to life in the Indian Ocean on Feb. 6, Tropical Storm Freddy's path has been fatal and extensive. It's made its way through various African countries, resulting in numerous fatalities, and unfortunately, it hasn't died down just yet. And with more than 30 days under its belt, Tropical Storm Freddy has officially broken the record of the longest-lived tropical storm.
"Freddy is having a major socio-economic and humanitarian impact on affected communities," Dr. Johan Stander, WMO Services Director, stated in a press release. "The death toll has been limited by accurate forecasts and early warnings, and coordinated disaster risk reduction action on the ground — although even one casualty is one too many."
"This once again underlines the importance of the UN Early Warnings for All initiative to ensure that everyone is protected in the next five years," he continued, stressing the importance of preparing for the worst as the climate crisis worsens. "WMO is committed to working with our partners to achieve this and tackle extreme weather and climate change related risks — one of the biggest challenges of our times."
What to know about Tropical Storm Freddy's path:
Freddy's path has been long and winding, racking up over 5,000 miles since it grew between Western Australia and Indonesia, according to The Washington Post. It quickly grew to a Category 5 hurricane, rapidly intensifying to more than 35 miles per hour in 24 hours six times. It slammed both Madagascar and Mozambique, sadly resulting in upwards of 21 deaths as of publication.
On Tuesday morning, Freddy was located southwest of Madagascar, bringing heavy rain and winds up to 100 miles per hour.
It was moving northwest at a speed of about 6 miles per hour, and its pinhole eye measured at about six miles wide. However, Freddy is now crossing the Mozambique Channel for a third time, and it's forecasted to hit Mozambique for a second time.
At the moment, Freddy is only being measured as a Category 2 storm, and it's likely going to come in through the country's northern border. But considering the severity of Freddy's last visit, Mozambique is still in recovery.
The Joint Typhoon Warning Center is now predicting that Freddy will be making landfall in Mozambique in late Friday night or early Saturday morning. Its winds will likely measure in at speeds up to 100 miles per hour, and it will probably be landing somewhere near the mouth of the Zambezi River. Hopefully, its wrath will be less severe than last time it was in Mozambique.
Tropical Storm Freddy is breaking records.
Freddy has officially broken the record for the longest-lived tropical storm in history — and yes, as you probably assumed, climate change is most likely to thank for that.
“At this time, it does appear to be a new record holder for ‘longest-lasting’ recorded tropical cyclone... but we are continuing to monitor the situation,” Randall Cerveny, the World Meteorological Organization’s rapporteur for weather and climate extremes, stated in the press release.
According to The Washington Post, the previous record holder for longest-lived tropical cyclone was 1994′s Hurricane-Typhoon John, which survived for 31 days, traveling from the eastern to western Pacific. Other storms that were on the brink of breaking the record include Tropical Storm Paka of 1997, and Tropical Storm Ivan of 2004. However, none live up to the strength and longevity of Freddy.
Regardless, we hope Freddy's reign comes to an end soon, as he has caused notable chaos in Africa.