Really Big One Heading for Cairns

It has us all nervous.   

“More than 30,000 Queenslanders are being relocated in a desperate bid to protect them from the fury of Cyclone Yasi, as authorities brace for a massive assault on the state.” 

I’m out of harms way – south of Yeppoon.

27 Responses to Really Big One Heading for Cairns

  1. Neville February 2, 2011 at 7:40 am #

    The pig ignorant greens are carrying on as usual, but why do people vote for these fools?

  2. val majkus February 2, 2011 at 7:54 am #

    depressing isn’t it Neville; and there will be others no doubt

  3. jennifer February 2, 2011 at 10:21 am #

    how big is this:

  4. el gordo February 2, 2011 at 11:36 am #

    This BoM link points out that two out of three studies, which they have looked at, see no major change in TC activity.

    A third study, ‘based on CSIRO simulations, shows a significant decrease in tropical cyclone numbers for the Australian region…’

    Of more interest, ‘each of the above studies finds a marked increase in the severe Category 3-5 storms. Some also report a poleward extension of tropical cyclone tracks’.

    From their perspective it has to do with global warming, so I will take time out and do a critique

  5. spangled drongo February 2, 2011 at 11:57 am #

    Winds seem to be abating to under 40 kts on Marion Reef but increasing on Flinders to 74 knots at 1100hrs. Flinders would be about 100 miles WSW of Yasi and right in the firing line.

    Willis Is does not seem to have an anemometer. Maybe it got blown away.

  6. John Sayers February 2, 2011 at 12:21 pm #

    Yes SD – the Willis island station has been destroyed, they just confirmed it.

  7. el gordo February 2, 2011 at 12:34 pm #

    ‘There is substantial evidence from theory and model experiments that the large-scale environment in which tropical cyclones form and evolve is changing as a result of greenhouse warming. Theory includes potential intensity theories as well as empirical indices that attempt to relate tropical cyclone frequency to large-scale environmental conditions.’

    Climate Change in Austeralia – Technical Report 2007
    5.9 Severe Weather – Tropical Cyclones

    Potential intensity theories?

  8. Luke February 2, 2011 at 2:12 pm #

    It’s about PDI El Gordo


    “Variability and decline in the number of severe tropical cyclones making land-fall over eastern Australia since the late nineteenth century”

  9. Carlos February 2, 2011 at 2:32 pm #

    John Sayers, who has confirmed that the Willis Island Station has been destroyed?

  10. el gordo February 2, 2011 at 2:45 pm #

    ‘The upturn in tropical mean surface temperature since 1975 has been generally ascribed to global warming, suggesting that the upward trend in tropical cyclone PDI values is at least partially anthropogenic.’

    What is this ‘generally ascribed’ and ‘partially anthropogenic’. We know about the great climate shift of 1976, a warm IPO sees more El Nino and less TC, while the cool IPO has the opposite effect.

    The Greens will argue the intensity of this cyclone is further proof of their argument. The odd thing is, I accept that in the coming decades TC may become more intense and reach southern Queensland, but it has nothing to do with CO2.

    Yasi was spawned in relatively cooler waters and built up steam as it moved west. It is natural variability.

  11. el gordo February 2, 2011 at 2:59 pm #

    Perhaps it would be more correct to say Yassi formed on the edge of anomalous cool sst.

  12. John Sayers February 2, 2011 at 3:00 pm #

    Carlos – I heard someone from the BoM state it on ABC Radio.

    From Dr Spencer’s blog:

    Let me give you a few factoids:

    1) No serious climate researcher — including the ones I disagree with — believes global warming can cause colder weather. Unless they have become delusional as a result of some sort of mental illness. One of the hallmarks of global warming theory is LESS extratropical cyclone activity — not more.

    2) If some small region of the Earth is experiencing unusually persistent storminess, you can bet some other region is experiencing unusually quiet weather. You see, in the winter we get these things called ’storm tracks’….

    3) Evidence for point #2 is that we now have many years of global satellite measurements of precipitation which shows that the annual amount of precipitation that falls on the Earth stays remarkably constant from year to year. The AREAS where it occurs just happen to move around a whole lot. Again, we used to call that “weather”.

    4) Global average temperature anomalies (departures from seasonal norms) have been falling precipitously for about 12 months now. Gee, maybe these snowstorms are from global cooling! Someone should look into that! (I know…cold and snow from global cooling sounds crazy….I’m just sayin’….)

    I could go on and on.

  13. spangled drongo February 2, 2011 at 4:26 pm #


    Looks like the cyclone went pretty much over the top of Willis Is.

    It transmitted 100 knots of wind at 0810 before it gave up and 938 hpa at 0900.

    Since then it must have gone very close to Flinders Reef which recorded 90 knots at 1400 abating to 82 knots at 1515 and 974.5 hpa.

    Maybe [let’s hope] Yazi is moderating somewhat before it makes landfall.

  14. Luke February 2, 2011 at 4:44 pm #

    El Gordo – it’s all ocean basins – the upward increase is evident in all major ocean basins prone to tropical cyclones

    Also “Tropical cyclones do not respond directly to SST, however, and the appropriate measure of their thermodynamic environment is the
    potential intensity, which depends not only on surface temperature
    but on the whole temperature profile of the troposphere. ”
    “Whatever the cause, the near doubling of power dissipation over
    the period of record should be a matter of some concern, as it is a
    measure of the destructive potential of tropical cyclones.Moreover, if
    upper ocean mixing by tropical cyclones is an important contributor
    to the thermohaline circulation, as hypothesized by the author7, then
    global warming should result in an increase in the circulation and
    therefore an increase in oceanic enthalpy transport from the tropics
    to higher latitudes.”

    John Sayers

    Book us in !

  15. Luke February 2, 2011 at 4:45 pm #

    Cold snaps plus global warming adds up

  16. John Sayers February 2, 2011 at 4:56 pm #

    5.55pm – caravan park owner in Cairns says there is no wind and it’s all calm.

  17. spangled drongo February 2, 2011 at 5:29 pm #

    Yazi passed between Holmes Reef and Flinders Reef about an hour ago. They are about 60 n miles apart and at around 30 miles from Flinders [in the worst quadrant] it was blowing 75-85 knots and recording around 975 hpa. Holmes had a slightly lower bp.

    Looks like it’s on target for Lucinda.

    As the Kingston Trio used to sing around the Bay of Mexico with the hurricanes in the late ’50s: “better get the sugar boats up on the shore, well.”

  18. John Sayers February 2, 2011 at 5:36 pm #

    Way up – Suzianna – loved the Kingston Trio.

  19. spangled drongo February 2, 2011 at 5:53 pm #

    Ah, ya got soul, man!

    “When I was a young man and in my prime,

    Way up – Suzianna,

    Court those young gals ten at a time, well.

    Round the Bay of Mexico.”

    I can’t find that on youtube.

  20. John Sayers February 2, 2011 at 6:05 pm #

    I wouldn’t want to 🙂

  21. spangled drongo February 2, 2011 at 6:42 pm #

    Luke would love those Ivy League shirts.

  22. el gordo February 2, 2011 at 6:54 pm #


    ‘These cold spells, and other weather changes that are a result of naturally occurring patterns, are still consistent with a globally warming world.’

    This is pure nonsense from NASA, but I was overjoyed when they admitted a decade trend is climate.

    Over the coming decade there will be more cyclones and they will track south-west towards the coast. A bit different to El Nino cyclones which tend to move south-east.

    Plan B should mention this diverse behavior and state quite clearly that it’s natural and has nothing to do with a CO2 induced ‘globally warming world.’

  23. Luke February 2, 2011 at 7:41 pm #

    utter rubbish El Gordo – in fact see the presentation

    Anyway – back on the thread this is a fabulous site for analysis of the cyclone

  24. lmwd February 2, 2011 at 7:43 pm #

    As early as 2001 Professor Jonathan Nott was predicting the return of what he called super-cyclones. According to him they happen approx every 200 – 300 years. The 20th Century was a period of ‘quiet’ for the big ones, however, apparently the 19th Century saw a few. He also suggests (in 2003 – second paper listed here from memory) that we get patterns, or a “regime” as he calls it and that we were due to shift into another one at some point

    In brief

    Actual papers

    In 2004 he also published a paper questioning Qld Govt policy re building in high risk areas because of the potential of super-cyclones. Love his prophetic last lines…

    “The absense of an intense tropical cyclone in Queensland over the last 80 years is not a guide to the nature of cyclone behaviour over the next 80 years. Yet, coastal development continues as if this is the case. Who then takes responsibility when people and buildings are washed away in the future?”

  25. el gordo February 2, 2011 at 8:17 pm #

    A few observations can be gleaned from UNISYS SST anomaly.

    The cold water east of NZ is unusual and the moderately cooler SST near where Yassi formed may give us a glimpse of its true character. Is this a Modoki cyclone?

    The other interesting phenomenon is the cooler waters in the Gulf of Mexico and the transport of those waters to the central Atlantic Ocean.

    We know that during La Nina years the hurricane season is intense and they travel further north, up the US east coast, before making landfall.

    They had predicted big things for this past season, but from memory it was a fizzer. If this happens again, it will be against the trend.

  26. el gordo February 2, 2011 at 8:32 pm #

    ‘The North Atlantic response is consistent with a slowdown of the thermohaline circulation, which either damps the warming regionally or results in a cooler mean climate in the vicinity of Greenland.’

    Yeah, okay, damping the warming regionally, as in the Gulf of Mexico, but the SST in the vicinity of Greenland is too warm.

    The ‘cold air outbreak’ theory is just that and I’m unconvinced. It’s natural variability we are witnessing.

  27. spangled drongo February 2, 2011 at 9:02 pm #


    They’ve been telling us all week that this cyclone is as big as it is because of record SSTs yet that chart shows pretty average SSTs along Yazi’s path of around Lat.10 to 18s.

    Yazi has now headed a little less southward and is making for Dunk Is – Bingil Bay. At the present rate it should make landfall just after midnight.

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