Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.
By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 3:13 PM GMT on March 07, 2012
Heavy rains from Tropical Cyclone Irina have killed 72 people on Madagascar and left 70,000 homeless, according to news reports. Irina never reached hurricane strength, but dumped heavy rains on the island over an extended period, February 29 - March 2. The area affected was remote, so the reports of the disaster only today reached the outside world. Irina is the deadliest tropical cyclone of 2012 thus far, and the second deadly storm to affect the island in recent weeks; Tropical Cyclone Giovanna hit the island two weeks ago as a Category 3 storm, killing 35 and leaving 240,000 homeless. Irina is expected to dissipate over cold waters southwest of Madagascar over the next day.
Figure 1. Tropical Cyclone Irina over Madagascar at 07:15 UTC March 1, 2012. At the time, Irina was a tropical storm with 65 mph winds. Image credit: NASA.
I'll have a new post on Thursday.
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