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Regional and Mesoscale Meteorology Branch

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Tropical Cyclone Giovanna

Posted On: February 14, 2012 - By: Curtis Seaman


Back in January, Madagascar was brushed by tropical cyclone Funso, which caused periods of heavy rain, but was a bigger deal for neighboring Mozambique. This time around, Madagascar took a direct hit from tropical cyclone Giovanna, which reached “Super Cyclone” status as category 4 storm just prior to making landfall.

VIIRS got a great look at Giovanna while it was a category 4 storm.

Visible image of Super Cyclone Giovanna

A visible image of Super Cyclone Giovanna from VIIRS channel I-1 taken at 09:47 UTC, 13 February 2012 (Thanks to Dan Lindsey)

IR-window image of Super Cyclone Giovanna

IR-window image of Super Cyclone Giovanna taken by VIIRS channel I-5 at 09:47 UTC, 13 February 2012 (Thanks to Dan Lindsey)

Fortunately, Giovanna weakened rapidly upon making landfall. Moving east to west across the center of the island and over the mountains of central Madagascar, Giovanna could not maintain its Super Cyclone status. At the time of this post, Giovanna was located over the west coast of Madagascar and down to sustained winds of 35 knots, making it a weak tropical storm. Early reports suggest between 2 and 5 people were killed, and some towns on the east coast had 60% or more of their buildings damaged or destroyed.

All things considered, the situation could have been much worse, considering residents were only given a half a day’s warning, and the primary method for disseminating weather warnings is through the use of town criers.


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