Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Tropical cyclone Yasi - Australia's worst cyclone?

Tropical cyclone Yasi is bearing down on far north Queensland.  The forecast predictions are for conditions that may be the worst (strongest) ever cyclone to impact Australia.  The cyclone has been upgraded to Level 5  - the  highest.

My thoughts are with FNQ friends.  Stay safe folks.

Cyclone Yasi details:
  • 500km wide
  • 200km eye
  • 7m storm surge expected
  • 1000m rainfall expected
  • Landfall just south or Cairns expected, 1am on Thursday 3 Feb 11
Here is the wind forecast, as at 10am Wed 2 Feb 2011
  • Maximum winds to 115 knots near the centre.
  • Winds above 64 knots within  30 nautical miles in northern semi-circle and within 50 nautical miles in southern semi-circle with phenomenal seas.
  • Winds above 48 knots within 90 nautical miles in northern semi-circle and within 130 nautical miles in southern semi-circle with very rough to high seas and heavy swell
  • Winds above 34 knots within 190 nautical miles in northern semi-circle and within 280 nautical miles in southern semi-circle with rough to very rough seas and moderate to heavy swell.
Here are some selected forecast diagrams and charts, all derived from the Australian Bureau of Meteorology unless otherwise credited.

Pressure chart - 0800 Wed 2 Feb 11

Pressure chart - 0200 Thursday 3 Feb 11

Sea Level pressure chart prognosis

National weather radar as at 01/02/11 21:40

Satellite photo - NASA Modis Rapid Response
Enhanced satellite image.  Source www.goes.noaa.gove
This is another example of an extreme weather event - of which scientists such as Graeme Pearman (ex CSIRO), Barrie Pittock (ex CSIRO) and David Karoly (University of Melbourne) have been warning will increase in both frequency and severity, due to climate change.

This is more evidence that we need a fund for addressing the catastrophic effects of climate change - such as floods, bushfires and cyclones, rather than just a one year "flood levy" just announced by Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard.

External links

1 comment:

Grant said...

Yep, it was a terrible event, and I agree we need to get used to many more type of climate change based events coming.
Having said the above, it is important that we adapt to the climate change events, changing our thinking to be able to handle the future events that will occur.
We obviously cannot stop the events in our, or our childrens life times, so we need to learn how to live with future events (eg. build more storm resistant housing, in areas less likely to be severly impacted).
Anyway, the human race has adapted to dramatic climate changes over the past few thousand years, so I do not see any reason why we will not over the next few hundred year, besides, in our case, the Australian people have told the Governments that they will not give up our cars (over 1 million new vehicles sold last year), aircons, flat screen TVs, washing machines, etc, etc.
In summary, we will adapt to the changes, while still living the life styles we are confortable with.