World Meteorological Organisation recently announced the constitution of an expert committee to evaluate the intensity and lifespan of Cyclone Freddy, which is on track to set a record as the longest-lasting tropical cyclone on record.
About Cyclone Freddy:
- Origin: It originated off the northern coast of Australia and became a named storm on February 6, 2022.
- It crossed the entire South Indian Ocean and traveled more than 8,000 kilometers, affecting Mauritius and La Réunion, before making landfalls in Madagascar two weeks later and then Mozambique.
- Freddy was the first tropical cyclone in the Southern Hemisphere to undergo six separate rounds of rapid intensification.
- It also holds the record for all-time accumulated cyclone energy (ACE) (storm strength during its lifetime) for the Southern Hemisphere.
- Freddy is fuelled by the energy provided by the warm ocean surface, consistently sourcing heat and moisture throughout its lifetime.
What is a Tropical Cyclone?
- It is a rapidly rotating storm originating over warm tropical oceans from where it draws the energy to develop.
- It has a low-pressure center and clouds spiraling towards the eyewall surrounding the "eye", the central part of the system where the weather is normally calm and free of clouds.
- Its diameter is typically around 200 to 500 km but can reach 1000 km.
- The winds blow counterclockwise in the Northern Hemisphere and clockwise in the Southern Hemisphere.
- A tropical cyclone brings very violent winds, torrential rain, high waves, and, in some cases, very destructive storm surges and coastal flooding.
Q1) How are cyclones known in different regions?
Cyclones are given many names in different regions of the world – They are known as typhoons in the China Sea and Pacific Ocean; hurricanes in the West Indian islands in the Caribbean Sea and Atlantic Ocean; tornados in the Guinea lands of West Africa and southern USA.; willy-willies in north-western Australia and tropical cyclones in the Indian Ocean.