Friday, October 22, 2010

Super Cyclone Giri Strongest on Record to Hit Myanmar;
Tropical Season Remains Active

The Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC) has issued its last warning on Tropical Cyclone Giri after it made landfall earlier today on the coast of Myanmar (formerly Burma). The cyclone, which was a 60 mph tropical storm yesterday morning in the Indian Ocean, had reached the maximum Category 4 level of 155 mph within 24 hours. Dr. Jeff Masters of Weather Underground reports that this was the strongest tropical cyclone on record to make landfall on Myanmar.

Masters points out that although Giri was 20 mph stronger than devastating Cyclone Nargis in 2008, it fortunately struck a less populated area of the coast. Nargis killed an estimated 138,000 people.

NASA reports that the TRMM (Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission) satellite observed heavy rainfall rates of around 2" per hour before the storm reached maximum strength.

The UK Met Office notes that the Northern Hemisphere tropical season is still in full force worldwide: Tropical storm season remains active

Images (click to enlarge): TRMM satellite rainfall analysis of Cyclone Giri over the Bay of Bengal, from NASA; Cyclone Giri track from Joint Typhoon Warning Center

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