On January 28, 2003, Tropical Cyclone Fari brought extensive flooding rains to the east coast of Madagascar. While not an especially powerful storm, the rains have added disastrously to floodwaters created by unusually heavy seasonal rains received during the past two weeks. Since early January, portions of the country have been inundated by 20-24 inches of rain, as shown on the accompanying image. This is twice the expected rainfall amount for a "normal" January. In this image, rainfall accumulation was obtained from a technique which combines the rainfall measured by NASA's Tropical Rainfall Measurement Mission (TRMM) satellite along with other satellite information. Madagascar is a mountainous country that has been heavily deforested and is surrounded by an unlimited moisture supply. These factors contribute to deadly mudslides and floodwater runoff during periods of heavy rainfall.
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This TRMM image and those of other extreme events can be found at the TRMM website trmm.gsfc.nasa.gov.