Freda formed as a tropical storm over the southern Pacific Ocean on December 28, 2012, and strengthened into a cyclone the next day, Unisys Weather Reported. On December 31, the U.S. Navy’s Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC) reported that Freda was located roughly 465 nautical miles (860 kilometers) northwest of Noumea, New Caledonia. The storm had maximum sustained winds of 105 knots (195 kilometers per hour) and gusts up to 130 knots (240 kilometers per hour).
The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite captured this natural-color image on December 30 as Freda’s eye hovered over the ocean off the northwestern tip of New Caledonia. Storm clouds extended over New Caledonia and Vanuatu.
The JTWC forecast map issued on December 31 showed the storm continuing its southward movement before turning toward the southeast. Wind speeds were expected to decrease over the next 72 hours.
- Joint Typhoon Warning Center. Accessed December 31, 2012.
Unisys Weather. (2012, December 31) Freda Tracking Information. Accessed December 31, 2012.
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This image originally appeared on the Earth Observatory. Click here to view the full, original record.