March 2004 - The only tropical cyclone that reached hurricane intensity ever observed in the South Atlantic.
The informally named Cyclone Catarina made landfall on March 28 in the town of Torres in Brazil. Wind speeds reached approximately 100 mph. Because Brazil had never experienced a weather event like this before, damage was severe. Fatalities were few, though, because authorities gave ample warning to citizens.
The formation of cyclones in the S. Atlantic is extremely rare. One of the conditions that contributed to the formation of Cyclone Catarina was the unusually warm sea temperatures--a condition that will become more likely in a warmer global climate.
This is one in the series of "Climate Decade in Review" posts on this blog that began in January 2010. These posts present climate-change-related events that occurred during the 00's, the warmest decade in recorded history.