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Strongest Storm Yet Headed for Australia

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  • Strongest Storm Yet Headed for Australia

    Strongest Storm Yet for 2014 Headed for Australia Landfall

    A small but fierce storm is heading for Australia with a new distinction: Itís now Earthís strongest of 2014.

    Over the last several hours, Severe Tropical Cyclone Ita has rapidly intensified to a Category 5 beast of a storm. Official estimates from Australiaís Bureau of Meteorology have the storm slightly stronger than Cyclone Ian, which hit Tonga earlier this year and was previously the strongest storm of 2014.

    Now, itís still early in the year, sure. But only a handful of tropical cyclones ever reach this strength, fewer still in the Coral Sea off Australiaís tropical north coast.

    Ita could also prove to be one of the worst in Australiaís history, bringing storm surge, heavy rain, and strong winds to a large swath of the Queensland coastline. Flooding from both rain and rising seas are especially a concern with Ita, because itís relatively slow-moving and will arrive near the time of local high tide. Ita is one of the latest-forming Category 5 storms in Australian history, whose tropical cyclone season runs from November to April.
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