Severe Tropical Cyclone Marcia rapidly intensifies, menacing Queensland

February 19, 2015 4:33 PM

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Severe Tropical Cyclone Marcia was supposed to make landfall in southeastern Queensland on Friday as a Category 1 or 2 storm. Instead, residents of communities, from Rockhampton to Gladstone all the way down the coast to Brisbane, now face the likelihood of a Category 5 monster making landfall early Friday morning, local time.

This is just the latest in a long line of storms in every major ocean basin to undergo a period of rapid intensification that was not anticipated by forecasters. Such scenarios, in which a storm rapidly strengthens shortly before landfall, can present major risks to coastal areas since intense storm...

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