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Cyclone Freddy sets records

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Cyclone Freddy has made history! This powerful storm has broken records and left devastation in its wake as it traveled across Southern Africa.

Freddy was a tropical cyclone, which is even stronger than a tropical storm, and it packed a mighty punch. With winds exceeding 260 km/h, Freddy was equivalent to a Category 5 hurricane at its strongest.

But that’s not all – Freddy was one of the longest-lived storms ever recorded in the Southern Hemisphere, lasting for at least 36 days. It traveled a whopping distance, starting off the coast of northwest Australia and crossing the Southern Indian Ocean from east to west – only four storms in history have ever done this!

Freddy even broke the record for all-time accumulated cyclone energy (ACE) in the Southern Hemisphere, beating the previous record set by Cyclone Fantala in 2016. Plus, it was the first storm in the Southern Hemisphere to undergo four separate rounds of rapid intensification, meaning it became even stronger in just 24 hours.

Unfortunately, Freddy’s power had devastating consequences. More than 400 people lost their lives, and thousands of homes were destroyed. The storm caused torrential rainfall, leading to mudslides in vulnerable areas and massive storm surges.

But what caused Freddy in the first place?
Some experts think it might be related to climate change. Warmer air can hold more water, so the amount of rain that fell, especially during its time over land, is likely to have been enhanced by climate change. And as ocean temperatures continue to rise, storms like Freddy may become even more powerful.

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