This is the bi-monthly newsletter of WikiProject Tropical Cyclones. The Hurricane Herald aims to give a summary, both of the activities of the WikiProject and global tropical cyclone activity. If you wish to change how you receive this newsletter, or no longer wish to receive it, please add your username to the appropriate section on the mailing list. This newsletter covers all of January 2009 and February 2009.
Please visit this page and bookmark any suggestions of interest to you. This will help improve monitoring of the WikiProject's articles.
Storm of the month Cyclone Fanele was the first cyclone of tropical cyclone status to strike western Madagascar since Cyclone Fame one year prior. It formed on January 18 in the Mozambique Channel, and rapidly organized, reaching peak winds of 185 km/h (115 mph). It weakened before moving ashore in Menabe Region southwest of Morondava, and rapidly deteriorated over land. Fanele briefly re-intensified after reaching open waters, only to become an extratropical cyclone by January 23. The cyclone caused heavy damage near where it moved ashore and along its path, resulting in at least eight deaths. Fanele struck Madagascar just two days after Tropical Storm Eric brushed the northeastern portion of the country. The two storms affected over 50,000 people, of which at least 4,000 were left homeless. Fanele struck the country during a series of government protests, and consequentially relief efforts were hindered.
Other tropical cyclone activity
Western Pacific Ocean– The first tropical cyclone of the season was Tropical Depression Auring, as designated by PAGASA. It formed on January 3 to the east of the Philippines, producing heavy rainfall and flooding on Mindanao island. Never organizing much, the depression dissipated a few days after forming, causing one death and destroying 305 houses. The next month, Tropical Depression Bising formed near Palau and, moving westward, later passed through the Philippines as a remnant low; rainfall from the system produced mudslides, though no major damage was reported.
South-West Indian– Tropical Storm Dongo was the first storm of January in the basin, and it remained over open waters without affecting landmasses throughout its duration. In the middle of the month along with Cyclone Fanele, Tropical Storm Eric developed and moved near Madagascar, killing one and producing heavy rainfall in the northeastern portion of the country. Later, Cyclone Gael killed two people on Réunion while tracking for ten days east of Madagascar; at the time it was the 2nd strongest cyclone of the season. Lastly, Tropical Storm Hina persisted for about five days, nearly reaching tropical cyclone status before weakening.
Australia- During the previous two months their have been nine Tropical Lows with four of them becoming a Tropical Cyclone whilst the remants of Cyclone Innis briefly moved into the Australian Region from the South Pacific. Cyclones Charlotte, Dominic, Ellie, and Freddy all caused damage to Australia and or the Indonesia Islands.
South Pacific- During the last two months the south Pacific has come alive with six depressions forming in January and February. The most significant depression was Tropical Depression 04F which brought heavy rainfall to Fiji and caused widespread flooding and killing at least 11 people. The first two named storms, Hettie and Innis also developed, each having minor effects on land.
Member of the month
The member of the month is... HurricaneSpin HurricaneSpin is a relativly new member of the project who has helped the project out by finding photos of Tropical Cyclones and uploading them to Commons. He is still getting to grips with the project but is coming on in leaps and bounds thus we have decided to make him the Member of the Month, for January and February 2009.
The project reached a milestone in the last two months in terms of article quality for all articles within the project. For the first time, the percentage of Good articles or better reached more than 1/3, and at the same time, the percentage of Start or Stub articles totaled less than 50%. In the previous twelve months, the overall project grew by 262 articles, of which 204, or 78%, were GA or better. Additionally, in terms of only storm articles, the project now has 46.6% of its articles as GA or better, and only 1/3 are Start or Stub. Unfortunately, much of that is due to newly-created articles easily attaining GA status. For storm articles, the total number of Start or Stub articles, currently 226, is about the same as it was a year ago. The lack of work on older articles is especially noticeable on season articles, where more than 75% of articles are still Stub or Start.
In an attempt to improve articles, there is talk of forming a collaboration between a few Wikipedians. The current project is to improve Hurricane Camille to FA status in time for its 40th anniversary this August. There is still plenty of work to be done, so if you're interested, any help would be appreciated.
Additionally, there is a recent discussion on the WPTC talk page about establishing a notability criteria. There was talk in the past of instating one, although this time the proposal is backed up by interpretations of existing Wikipedia policy. The proposal would limit articles to tropical cyclones that have at least one independent, reliable source other than any warning centers. Excluding cross-basin, off-season, or 64+ knot cyclones, the proposal would affect 26 articles, none of which affected land or lasted for an appreciable amount of time.