Australia to Africa in 36 days: Tropical Cyclone Freddy (2023), the longest-lasting tropical cyclone in history

Original press release published by the World Meteorological Organization on July 2, 2024.

The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) has declared Tropical Cyclone Freddy to be the longest-lasting tropical cyclone on record, at 36 days. Freddy crossed from Australia to Africa from February 4 to March 14, 2023, causing major human and economic losses in the worst-affected countries.

A WMO international committee of experts working under the auspices of the

Weather and Climate Extremes Archive, including Sim Aberson from NOAA’s Atlantic Oceanographic & Meteorological Laboratory, conducted a detailed analysis and

verification of the distance and duration. The evaluation committee recognized

Tropical Cyclone Freddy’s duration of 36 days at tropical storm status or

higher as the new world record for the longest tropical cyclone duration. In terms of distance, the WMO analysis indicated that TC Freddy traveled 12,785 km (7,945 miles, 6,905 nautical miles) at tropical storm status or above. To put that number in perspective, that distance is nearly 33% of the Earth’s circumference.

“Freddy was a very interesting system in many ways, and it shows the importance of monitoring these systems even far from land to try to mitigate impacts to populations and ecosystems” said Aberson. “Though Freddy was very destructive and lasted longer than any other tropical cyclone on records, we need to make sure we’re ready for all tropical cyclones, especially the short-lived ones that rapidly intensify and strike with only short notice.”

To read the full press release, please visit WMO.

Photo Source: NASA’s Gateway to Astronaut Photography of Earth