NASA Tracks Freddy, Longest-lived Tropical Cyclone on Record

Narration: George Huffman


Tropical Cyclone Freddy has become the longest-lived named tropical cyclone ever, beating out Hurricane--and then Typhoon--John back in the 1990s. Freddy formed between Indonesia and Australia and then headed nearly straight west.

Its intensity fluctuated, but at one point became the first Category 5 tropical cyclone in 2023. Freddy was so long-lived because the ocean during its entire track was very warm and because the steering currents over the vast expanses of the Indian Ocean took it pretty much straight east to west.

After crossing the Indian Ocean, Freddy crashed into Madagascar, causing a lot of damage, and then continued and made landfall in Mozambique, where it caused

additional damage due to flooding and landslides. By the time it got to Mozambique, the steering currents in the atmosphere had decreased. So Freddy sort of wandered around back over the Mozambique Channel, almost back to Madagascar. Then it restrengthened and made another landfall in Mozambique where it caused additional damage and fatalities.

The IMERG precipitation dataset lets us monitor the rainfall that Freddy and other systems produce, no matter where it happens over land or over ocean.