This storm is about to become the longest-lasting tropical system ever recorded

Satellite image of Freddy on Tuesday.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- – While the Atlantic basin is typically quiet this time of year, a tropical cyclone in the Indian Ocean is about to become the longest-lasting tropical system ever recorded on Earth.

Tropical Cyclone Freddy has been around for 30 days, and on Thursday it will become the longest-lasting tropical system.

Freddy’s origins

Freddy began its existence on the other side of the Indian Ocean, near Indonesia.

The Australian Bureau of Meteorology began watching a tropical low on Jan. 30. On Feb. 6, the Joint Typhoon Warning Center declared it a tropical cyclone, giving it the name “Freddy.”

Freddy began its movement westward into the open waters of the Indian Ocean. The system began intensification and was classified as a Category 4 severe tropical cyclone.

Freddy's track over the past 30 days.

Freddy grew even stronger and was classified as a powerful Category 5 storm on Feb. 18.

African landfalls

After traveling thousands of miles, Freddy neared the island of Madagascar, off the east coast of Africa.

Freddy made landfall at Mananjary, Madagascar, on the island’s east coast on Feb. 21.

The storm was still a powerful Category 3 storm at landfall, with winds of 115 mph.

Freddy was responsible for 11 deaths and destroyed over 1,000 homes on the island.

Freddy made two landfalls earlier.

The cyclone then moved on toward Mozambique, a country on Africa’s east coast.

Freddy made landfall in the African nation just south of Vilanculos, Mozambique. Ten deaths and widespread damage were attributed to the storm.

Freddy’s return

Meteorologists expected Freddy to fall apart while inland over Mozambique.

But Freddy had other plans.

The storm did weaken significantly but began to float back over water in the Mozambique Channel.

Despite this movement, Freddy did fall apart and on March 3, was classified as a disturbed weather zone.

However, the system reorganized back into a tropical storm and has once again been upgraded to a tropical cyclone.

Freddy will make a third landfall in Mozambique this weekend.

Freddy is expected to make a second landfall in Mozambique late this week.

Freddy in the record books

With Freddy surviving its landfalls, it is widely expected the system will survive into late this week, making it the longest-lived tropical cyclone in recorded history.

It will break the long-standing record held by Hurricane John in 1994. John lasted 31 days in the Pacific Ocean.

The storm cruised much of the eastern and central Pacific waters. It mostly stayed out to sea.

Other long-lasting hurricanes include the 1899 San Ciriaco hurricane and Hurricane Tina in 1994.

Freddy will surpass Hurricane John as the longest-lived tropical cyclone on record.

The San Ciriaco hurricane lasted an estimated 28 days and devastated Puerto Rico. Tina lasted 24 days and stayed at sea in the eastern Pacific.

Freddy has been a remarkable tropical system and one that will likely be in the record books for many years to come.

About the Author:

David Heckard is The Weather Authority's Assistant Chief Meteorologist.