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A South Atlantic tropical cyclone is an unusual weather event. Strong wind shear (which disrupts cyclone formation) and a lack of weather disturbances favorable for tropical cyclone development make any hurricane-strength cyclones extremely rare. If a "hurricane season" were to be demarcated in the South Atlantic, it would most likely be the opposite of the North Atlantic season, from November to the end of April with mid-March being the peak when the oceans are warmest in the Southern Hemisphere. These tropical cyclones would be given identifiers starting with SL in the future.

Below is a list of known South Atlantic tropical cyclones.

Cyclone Catarina

Cyclone (or Hurricane) Catarina was an extraordinarily rare tropical cyclone, forming in the southern Atlantic Oceanmarker in March 2004. Just after becoming a hurricane, it hit the southern coast of Brazilmarker in the state of Santa Catarinamarker on the evening of March 28, with winds estimated near 155 km/h (100 mph), making it a Category 2 storm on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale. The cyclone killed 3-10 people and caused millions of dollars in damage in Brazil.

At the time, the Brazilians were taken completely by surprise, and were at first in utter disbelief that an actual cyclone could have formed in the South Atlantic despite the insistence of the Miami National Hurricane Center otherwise. Later, they were convinced, and adopted the name "Catarina" for the storm, after Santa Catarina state. This event is considered by meteorologists to be a nearly once-in-a-lifetime occurrence.

Other known South Atlantic tropical cyclones

Angola tropical cyclone of 1991

On April 10, 1991, what was either a strong tropical depression or a weak tropical storm formed in the eastern South Atlantic, recorded by weather satellites off the coast of Angolamarker. It reached a peak on the 13th, and dissipated two days later, drifting west-southwestward from where it formed. Of the few South Atlantic tropical cyclones that have existed, this was the only one in the eastern Atlantic. This was also the first South Atlantic tropical cyclone ever observed.

Tropical cyclone of January 2004

A small area of convection developed on a trough of low pressure in mid January off Brazilmarker. It organized and appeared to become a tropical depression on January 18. The next morning, it had a small CDO and well-defined bands, and the system, either a weak tropical storm or a strong tropical depression, likely reached its peak. Located southeast of Salvador, Brazilmarker, it weakened as upper level shear, typical for the basin, prevailed. The depression moved inland on the 20th as a circulation devoid of convection, and dissipated the next day over Brazil, where it caused heavy rains and flooding. This would mark the first time in recorded history that two tropical cyclones (Catarina and the January storm) have been seen during the same year in the South Atlantic, and may be considered to make up the 2003-04 South Atlantic hurricane season.

Tropical cyclone of February 2006

A small area of convection 600 miles southeast of Rio de Janeiromarker was tracked into an area of relatively low shear and marginal 26°C waters on February 23, 2006. The wave had deep convection, was able to form a closed LLC and had 35 mi/h (56 km/h) winds as measured by Quikscat on February 24, 2006. These characteristics were operationally recognized for three hours before high shear began to tear the system apart, just short of the six hours required to be officially declared a tropical depression. The storm was estimated at have peaked in intensity with winds of 65 mph (100 km/h), equivalent to a strong tropical storm, early on February 23. While under study, the system was referred to as 90L Invest. The shear would eventually cause the system to dissipate later that night.

Subtropical cyclone of January 2009

A cold-core mid to upper-level trough in phase with a low-level warm-core low formed a system over Uruguaymarker and Rio Grande do Sul state in Brazilmarker and moved eastward into the South Atlanticmarker. Winds exceeded 54 kts on the coast of Uruguay and extreme southern Rio Grande do Sul. The storm produced rainfall in 24 hours of 300 mm or more in some locations of Rochamarker (Uruguay) and southern Rio Grande do Sul. A weather station in Morro Redondo, southern Brazil, recorded 278.2 mm in a 24-hour period.Fourteen deaths and thousands of evacuees are attributed to the storm with an emergency declared in four cities.

See also


  2. Monthly Global Tropical Cyclone Summary January 2004

External links

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