I cannot stop thinking about this monstrous testament to the change of our El Nino to La Nina weather effects that we're experiencing here at the moment in Australia. Off the back of the downgraded Tropical Cyclone Anthony crossing the coast last night and causing a bit of havoc to our northern friends (further north of the mop-up under way after the terrible floods in the southern end of the state), they now have a (currently) category 4 cyclone looking set to cross the coast over an area covering Cairns and Townsville. And it is kinda alarming me a little. I hope with all my might that it fizzles out or at least downgrades to even a 2. But it may not, even if only because they're beginning to refer to it as 'TC Anthony's ugly big sister'. They've started evacuating beautiful Hamilton Island in the Whitsundays and more are to follow in the coming days, I have read.
As of 4pm today, it was already a Cat-3, characterised in part by wind gusts near its centre of "185km/h and intensifying." And that's now. It is expected to reach land sometime Wednesday or Thursday this week - you can just see the front of it peeking in at the eastern side of the radar images as it updates on the BOM website. If it gets to what they're predicting, those gusts could get up to anywhere around 260km/h. I mean, it is almost unimaginable to me, that sort of speed from wind on the ground. Cyclone Tracey (which of course hit Darwin, 1974) was a category 4 and the stories from that are sobering. Some survivors are still reported to be living with post-traumatic stress from the disaster. And I think to myself, what would I do if faced with this? Seriously? I am not good in pissy storms, this would just about send me into a padded room. Not that that wouldn't be handy during a cyclone, mind.
Yikes. But this is fast becoming a naturally more dangerous place to live out one's existence lately, no?
News reports tonight were warning Melbourne residents to be vigilant about snakes indoors at the moment *checking under computer desk now* because of three bite cases being reported in the past 24 hours - they like to escape the heat, you see, and slither indoors to curl up in some cool, dark cupboard... Where's Harry when you need him, huh?
|"It's over there... under the couch, 'arry!"|
Welcome to summer in Australia! Floods in most states at the moment, fire weather warnings prevalent in at least three states, dangerous thunderstorm warning in the west, an enormous monster looming off the north eastern coast right on the tail of another smaller one.... But a bloody bewdiful country still to live in. Huh? Are you with me?
And you know what, because I don't know who knows this information and who doesn't know - and who watches the weather and doesn't in the tropical north of this country but reads this here teeny tiny part of the web - I wouldn't rest unless I just do a little copy and paste job from the Bureau..... Those who need to know, I'm sure, probably already do, but just in case:
TROPICAL CYCLONE ADVICE NUMBER 2
Issued by the Bureau of Meteorology, Brisbane
Issued at 5:02pm EST on Monday the 31st of January 2011
A Cyclone WATCH has been declared for coastal and island communities from Cooktown to Yeppoon.
At 4:00 pm EST Severe Tropical Cyclone Yasi, Category 3 was estimated to be 1780 kilometres east northeast of Townsville and 1630 kilometres east northeast of Mackay moving west at 30 kilometres per hour.
The cyclone is expected to intensify as it moves west over the Coral Sea.
Damaging winds are expected to develop about coastal and island communities between Cooktown and Yeppoon Wednesday morning.
People between Cooktown and Yeppoon should consider what action they will need to take if the cyclone threat increases.
- Information is available from your local government
- For cyclone preparedness and safety advice, visit Queensland's Disaster Management Services website [www.disaster.qld.gov.au]
- For emergency assistance call the Queensland State Emergency Service [SES] on 132 500 [for assistance with storm damage, rising flood water, fallen trees on buildings or roof damage].
Details of Severe Tropical Cyclone Yasi at 4:00 pm EST:
.Centre located near...... 13.8 degrees South 162.5 degrees East
.Location accuracy........ within 35 kilometres
.Recent movement.......... towards the west at 30 kilometres per hour
.Wind gusts near centre... 185 kilometres per hour and INTENSIFYING
.Severity category........ 3
.Central pressure......... 970 hectoPascals
Please ensure that neighbours have heard and understood this message, particularly new arrivals or those who may not fully understand English.
The next advice will be issued by 11:00 pm EST Monday 31 January.
This warning is also available through TV and Radio Broadcasts; the Bureau's website at www.bom.gov.au or call 1300 659 212. The Bureau and the State Emergency Service would appreciate this warning being broadcast regularly.
Check the latest weather warnings. And stay safe, North Queensland people!