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Very Severe Tropical Cyclone Giri

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The fourth tropical cyclone of the 2010 North Indian Ocean cyclone season formed in the early hours, the first since Phet dissipated on June 6th. Since then, the cyclone has strengthed to an intensity of 50kts and has been named Giri by the IMD.

Giri has really blown up very quickly, and if this cyclone had more time over water then it could have become a monster as waters are hot and upper level conditions good. However, Giri is not far off the west coast of Burma, and thus only has about another 18hrs over water. Giri may strengthen a little more before moving onshore tomorrow. The cyclone is likely to bring damaging winds to the coast, and heavy, flooding rains could spread well inland over the next day or two.

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Giri is undergoing rapid intensification. A small eye has been fleeing in appearance within the healthy central dense overcast feature. Intensity has risen to 70kts, making Giri a cat 1 on the SS scale. This means that Giri's intensity has increased by 35kts in just 18 hours, which is very impressive.

This obviously is not good news for Burma. Giri does have the potential to become stronger as waters are very warm, shear is low, and poleward outflow is excellent. Giri's small size has helped it strengthen significantly so far and I see no reason why the cyclone won't continue to strengthen right up until landfall tomorrow.

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Busy busy busy, 3 out 5 basins in the north Hampshire active

ni201004.gif

201010212000meteo7xir1k.jpg

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Giri has continued it's bout of rapid intensification and is now an 85kt, cat 2. I think Giri could become a cat 3, or even a cat 4 (!) before landfall this afternoon. Not good at all.

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I am lost for words with this storm. This has surely broken records! Giri, now making landfall, has strengthened to the upper limit of cat 4 and is on the cusp of cat 5 status on the SS scale, with intensity bombing to 135kts. Giri has intensified by 50kts in just 12 hours, and by 100kts in 36hrs, which can only be described as explosive. Giri's initial forecast peaked the cyclone at just a 55kt intensity, which was a HUGE underestimation. Giri's small size, hot sea temps and a perfect upper level environment is what caused this explosive intensification. The one saving grace for Burma is Giri's small size- the most intense winds will be felt in a small area but they are fierce nonetheless! Giri's small size means it will weaken just as fast as it strengthened and dissipate in 24-36hrs.

Infared satellite image of the Indian Ocean showing Very Severe Tropical Cyclone Giri making landfall:

xxirnm5.GIF

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This just makes me sick to the stomach :(

20101022.1015.f15.x.vis1km_high.04BGIRI.135kts-922mb-198N-934E.100pc.jpg

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Jeff Masters has reported that Giri was the strongest storm on record to make landfall in Burma/Myanmar:

Powerful Cyclone Giri made landfall this morning on the coast of Myanmar (Burma) as an upper-end Category 4 storm with 155 mph winds. Giri strengthened from a 60 mph tropical storm at 8am EDT yesterday to a 155 mph Category 4 storm by 8am this morning, becoming the strongest cyclone ever to hit Myanmar.

http://www.wunderground.com/blog/JeffMasters/comment.html?entrynum=1669&tstamp=&page=3

Giri is now rapidly weakening inland, though latest satellite imagery shows the cyclone is still delivering very heavy rains to Burma. Intensity has fallen to 80kts, so the cyclone is still packing some powerful winds but these should hopefully subside by morning. I really hope there isn't a high death toll.

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:( very sad news, although I thought it might be worse

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:( very sad news, although I thought it might be worse

I was anticipating it to be worse too, particularly with the extraordinary intensification before landfall. Very sad news as you say, and could have been much worse. As communications are poor with Burma however, we might yet still see this toll rise.

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The military junta is almost certainly trying to downplay the impact of Giri in Burma, though it's definitely nowhere near as bad as Nargis (which affected the most populous part of the country). The death toll should be in the hundreds rather than the hundreds of thousands associated with Nargis.

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