a forum for the discussion of issues concerning the natural environment
February 2, 2011 By jennifer
Video footage of Cyclone Ingrid as it was crossing Cape Don, the westernmost tip of the Cobourg Peninsula, northeast of Darwin–on the morning of 13 March, 2005.
It made a grand tour of 3 states http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Severe_Tropical_Cyclone_Ingrid
Faraway Bay on the Kimberley Coast resort after Ingrid
At 11pm EA time the Cairns 512km composite radar loop gives a good impression of the cyclone “hot” spots including Cairns and imho Mackay also a wild one
The Strikeone site keeps up to a couple of hrs of BoM radar data… here’s the Cairns and Townsville radars:
Nicola Weaver says
All the latest videos of Yasi can be found on the following hub:
They have people on the ground right now, providing video feeds and feedback from most affected areas.
I hope that’s useful.
James Mayeau says
You all be careful out there. Tie yourself to a tree or somethin.
I think I saw that in a movies once.
Judging by the many times I’ve seen CNN reporters covering the hurricane, the place to be is on the boat dock. Stand behind that guy holding the microphone. Nothing bad ever happens to them.
Interesting factual info from the Bolter, please see end of article for those pesky facts from Pielke jnr putting the history and number of these cyclones into some sort of reality.
I should have mentioned the most important news of course, so far there has been no reports of deaths from this disaster according to Anna Bligh.,
Let’s hope she’s right.
val majkus says
Warwick thanks for that; I picked up this article in The Oz yesterday from Jo Nova’s site
Jonathan Nott is an expert on the incidence of super cyclones. By analysing ridges of broken coral pushed ashore by storm surges, he has catalogued the incidence of super-cyclones over the past 5000 years.
In a paper published in the scientific journal, Nature in 2001 his research shows the frequency of super-cyclones is an order of magnitude higher than previously thought.
Nott’s work puts into perspective current debate about whether climate change is responsible for the extreme weather events in Queensland.
What the longer term records show, however, is that the frequency of extreme cyclones follow a predictable long-scale pattern.
“What the record shows is we go through extended periods, hundreds of years, of high activity and extended periods of little activity,” Nott says.
“The past 100 to 150 years has been very quiet in Queensland in terms of what happened in the past. The couple of hundred years prior to that were very active.”
here’s the abstract of the paper by Prof Nott to which the Oz article refers
Understanding long-term variability in the occurrence of tropical cyclones that are of extreme intensity is important for determining their role in ecological disturbances1, 2, 3, 4, 5, for predicting present and future community vulnerability and economic loss6 and for assessing whether changes in the variability of such cyclones are induced by climate change7. Our ability to accurately make these assessments has been limited by the short (less than 100 years) instrumented record of cyclone intensity. Here we determine the intensity of prehistoric tropical cyclones over the past 5,000 years from ridges of detrital coral and shell deposited above highest tide and terraces that have been eroded into coarse-grained alluvial fan deposits. These features occur along 1,500 km of the Great Barrier Reef and also the Gulf of Carpentaria, Australia. We infer that the deposits were formed by storms with recurrence intervals of two to three centuries8, 9, 10, 11, and we show that the cyclones responsible must have been of extreme intensity (central pressures less than 920 hPa). Our estimate of the frequency of such ‘super-cyclones’ is an order of magnitude higher than that previously estimated (which was once every several millennia12, 13, 14), and is sufficiently high to suggest that the character of rainforests and coral reef communities were probably shaped by these events.
you have to log in to see the paper in total
Banana benders should beware after Yasi; this time Gaia has realty gone after those big black coal mines inland and their infrastructure downtown so it isnt over yet.
The good news seems to be that no one got hurt this time
John Sayers says
val majkus put me onto checking the wind speeds as measured at the weather centres. The closest to the eye of the cyclone is Lucinda Point just north of Ingham on the coast yet it’s record shows the highest wind gusts were 180km. Townsville shows highest wind gusts at 135km.
All this 290km talk is more BoM BS.
John; Warwick Hughes would agree with you; he has an interesting post on his blog; http://www.warwickhughes.com/blog/?p=809#comments
and check out his comment at 4.16 am
..Yes Keith – I am asking if Yasi was overhyped to some extent yesterday by all our official sources, BoM, Govt and media. I notice the USN Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC) have not run wind numbers as high as we have been hearing here.
Looking at the latest current obs (3.30am Qld) at the BoM clickable map.
Townsville windspeed never reached 100km/h and at 3.30 are 89 – gusts reached 135 (1.23-1.30am) and have decr to 119 @ 3.30.
Going north, Lucinda has been hit heavier – as at 3.30am winds 113 gusts 145 down from peak winds 132 gusts 170 @ ~12.30am.
Cairns by 3.30am neither wind speed (46) or gusts (72) reached 100.
Arlington Reef just offshore Cairns has seen stronger winds. Gusts topped 100 between 11pm and 3am and have decr slightly to 89 @ 3.30am.
Obviously we do not yet have winds from the strongest core, can only hope it is v restricted.
and at 7.27 am
The strongest wind gust I have seen in DATA is the 180 at Lucinda. Way short of this 295 bandied around – which I assume was always from modeling. I notice the much vaunted storm surge was mercifully much weaker than predicted too.
I just heard a girl from BoM state that Lucinda point is 70km from Mission beach and peaked at 185 therefore we can assume that the eye winds were 250km plus!!
Lucinda is only 40km from Cardwell which was at the centre of the storm and hardest hit. So they are continuing to spout BS.
Cardwell – 200 homes destroyed, Mission Beach and Tully lost 20 homes each. Clearly Cardwell was the centre of the storm.
The BoM has taken Lucinda Point offline.
spangled drongo says
Yes John, 99 knots [183kph] at around midnight and then easing but rising to 97 knots at 2.30 am which says it all. They would have had a “blue hole” overhead for a while and that would have been the worst of it.
Wonder how the big sugar shed stood up to it?
I watched the ch 9 extended coverage last night and the person who impressed me the most (between the politicians including the premier and the reporters) was the BOM spokesman; a calm professional approach amongst all the hype and hyperbole; did anyone else notice
Yes I noticed the BoM guy was pretty factual, which was a relief. Actually, I’ve noticed the media being careful, mostly, to not try linking this event to AGW, even if they do hype it up a bit.
I’ve read a few of Nott’s papers. I posted a comment in the Australian today re Prof Nott’s work making reference to one of his papers in which he uses the term ‘super cyclone’, actually in the title. Got abused by a poster called v. Their post below
“lmwd, There is no such thing as a “super-cyclone” and anyone who uses the term can be safely ignored by sensible people who are genuinely interested in the earth’s climate”.
So frustrating when you don’t get to reply!
I should qualify my comment above, by media, I mean the Australian, which seems to have been a little more balanced lately. I know some journos have tried to make the connection with AGW (just read Bolt’s piece). I avoid reading some of the other publications for this reason.
good comment there lmwd! congrats on getting published
Yep,I’ve noticed some rusted-on BOM haters attempting their usual schtick.
“The nearest wind recorder didn’t go past 185Km/hr,therefore the cyclone was not as intense as claimed” is the confident assertion….
Please provide your evidence for your beliefs. What do you know about energy distribution in cyclones that has escaped the research community over the last fifty years?? Lucinda observations PROVE that hurricane force winds extended at least 50km out from the eye.
The Lucinda observation station was 40-50kmkm from the eye-wall when the cyclone came ashore,losing intensity as it advanced over land. Why would you expect its highest measurement to be similar to the actual intensity at the eye? The intense central zone of the cyclone slipped between the closest two other reef observation stations-themselves 150km apart- that stayed intact. This proved that the zone of windspeeds averaging 60 knots-near hurricane force- was AT LEAST 150km wide. At least 75km radius.
Cyclone Tracy’s eye,with central pressure of a ‘mere’ 950hPa, passed over Darwin Airport and wind gusts were recorded to 217km/hr before the anemometer broke.Its radius of gale force [34-40knot] winds was only 50km.
The only automated recorder that the cyclone passed over was destroyed an hour before the eye arrived,leaving its trace frozen in a moment indicating rapid increase in wind speed and the beginning of a precipitous drop in pressure. However since the direction function completely failed earlier,the last wind speed measurements cannot be regarded as accurate. They may be well below true speeds.
Estimates of central pressure and highest average wind speed were made by various international agencies using satellite data and well-proven models.The ensemble average was 912 hPa and 131knots,six hours out from landfall,while BOM kept its advised intensity at Cat 5 and 930 hPa right up until landfall.
The “girl from BOM” has got it right.
Willis Is recorded 100 knots and 955 hpa about 10 miles from the eye and the following drop and rise of BP transmission was the lowest recording.
From then it abated progressively. Witness those inland towns virtually getting no wind and little rain when they were told to batten down for the big inland cyclone.
Also, if you’d been in Lucinda at 1 am you’d probably have been looking at a starry sky.
It’s very necessary to warn people of the worst possible scenario but the perpetrators of the nanny state syndrome reap enormous rewards so you can’t help being somewhat sceptical.
Warwick Hughes has a new post up Cyclone Yasi has been exaggerated by Govts and beaten up by media
for wind speed enthusiasts there are calculations and also comments about wind speed in his preceding post Cyclone Yasi knocks out weather instruments on Willis Island
Spangled – pure bunk from the usual rabid geriatric BoM haters – tell those at Cardwell, Mission Beach and Tully. I think you just has to look at Bligh’s face during her press conferences – she was really bloody worried.
How exactly do you think “enormous rewards” were reaped. You’re full of shit.
The information, warning and planning were first class – you lot are just sooking there’s not a few hundred dead so you could get up the system about that.
Back before the days of ABC bedwetting even they agreed with you:
Surely even you are not so stupid as to think that Dear Anna [and I do like her] has been granted a new lease of life by Qld’s recent dramas and so the standard policy now is: lay it on as thick as you like because you can’t overdo it. It can always be justified etc.
And the Meeja have not had a field day? And the Ross Garnauts? And all the other alarmists?
You can almost hear the sigh of relief when they report that at least someone had the good grace to die. Even though the circumstances were a bit embarrassing.
Don’t you possibly think that it is not good for people to believe that this was the ultimate storm?
That this is as bad as it gets?
Luke what kind of evidence is this:
I think you just has to look at Bligh’s face during her press conferences – she was really bloody worried
Hmmm… no evidence at all is my view
she was exhausted, simple as that.
And so she should be as she carries the responsibility for the state.
S,Drongo claims: “If you’d been at Lucinda at 1AM you’d probably been looking at a starry sky”
AT 1AM on the 3/1,the wind was steady at 62 knots with gusts to 87 knots [161km/hr] probably from the S to SE as the anemometer direction was playing up,and we know the eye was to the NW crossing over Tully Heads. It looks like Lucinda’s ability to measure rain was compromised as well…or it was blowing horizontally and the Venturi effect sucked the precip out. Get yourself some radar imagery or just a satellite shot will do. Since the eye did not go over Lucinda,their would have been no opportunity to see stars.
We don’t know exactly how strong the wind was at Willis because it was totalled well before maximum speeds were experienced,so I’ll go with the Cat 5 estimates,thank you. These sort of estimates are cross-verified by decades of observation and model comparison.
Of course the cyclonic winds rapidly abated over land,but the cyclone decayed only slowly compared with many.
“Witness those inland towns getting no wind and little rain when they were told to batten down for the big inland cyclone.” Er,what? They were told to expect widespread rain,heavy in places with damaging wind gusts up to 100km/hour. Do you mean Charters Towers,well south of the track picking up 85mm [probably a decile 9 daily fall] and steady 30 knot winds at 9AM? Winds gusting to 50knots and more at Julia Creek? 85mm so far at Cloncurry with winds of 20-35 knots? Widespread falls of 50-200mm in two days? in a swathe several hundred kilometres wide? Not bad for a system moving very fast by comparison with most cyclones.
Do you think anyone believes it was the ultimate storm? It seems everyone who has experieced local hurricanes at close quarters thought it was the biggest they’d been through,that’s all. It was physically the largest system seen in the Coral Sea for a long,long time.
here’s the historical list of worst cyclones from http://www.australiangeographic.com.au/journal/timeline-australias-worst-cyclones.htm
We look back at some of the worse contenders since 1899:
1899 – CYCLONE MAHINA (Category 5)
More than 400 people perished after Cyclone Mahina hit Bathurst Bay on 4 March 1899. The cyclone is considered to be the worst natural disaster in Australia’s history. One hundred of the people who died were on pearling fleet vessels, while another 100 were local Aborigines.
1918 – CYCLONE MACKAY (Category 4)
When the cyclone hit Mackay on 21 January, it destroyed all communication links into the town. Thirty people died in the tragedy, and the rest of the world didn’t know anything about it until five days later.
1918 – CYCLONE INNISFAIL (Category 5)
On the 10 March 1918, when Innisfail, Qld, was hit by a cyclone, it was a town of 3,500 people. Following the disaster, just 12 houses remained. Thirty-seven people died in Innisfail, while an additional 40-60 died in surrounding areas.
1970 – CYCLONE ADA (Category 4)
A total of 14 people died as a result of Category 4 Cyclone Ada, that caused severe damage to resorts on Queensland’s Whitsunday Islands in January 1970. Daydream, South Molle and Hayman islands were affected. The damage bill was estimated at $390 million (1970 value).
1971 – CYCLONE ALTHEA (Category 4)
Severe Tropical Cyclone Althea was at the time considered to be one of the strongest cyclones to affect the Queensland coast. There were three deaths in Townsville and damage costs in the region reached $50 million (1971 value). Many houses were damaged or destroyed, including 200 Housing Commission homes. On Magnetic Island 90 per cent of the houses were damaged or destroyed.
1972 – CYCLONE EMILY (Category 2)
Emily crossed the Queensland coast in late March 1972, just to the southeast of Gladstone, Qld. Wind damage was confined to trees and sheds; however, the cyclone had been very severe before it hit land, generating huge seas that claimed the lives of eight seaman in three separate incidents off the southern and central Queensland coasts.
1974 – CYCLONE TRACY (Category 4)
Tracy, a Category 4, struck Darwin in the Northern Territory on Christmas Eve 1974. It remains Australia’s most destructive with winds of around 250km/h. Seventy-one people were killed, and many thousands injured. Of a population of 43,000, more than 25,000 were left homeless, according to the Australian government.
1975 – CYCLONE JOAN (Category 5)
Joan was a severe tropical cyclone with maximum measured wind gusts of 208 km/h. It damaged 85 per cent of the houses in Port Hedland, 600 km south west of Broome, WA, and other settlements along its path. Subsequent flooding damaged roads and sections of the iron ore railways, particularly that of Hamersley Iron Pty Ltd. Sheep losses were heavy but there was no loss of human life or serious injury. The estimated damage to private property and public facilities is believed to have exceeded $25 million.
1978 – CYCLONE ALBY (Category 4)
Tropical Cyclone Alby passed close to the southwest corner of WA on 4 April 1978, killing five people and causing widespread but mostly minor damage to the southwest. The damage bill was estimated to be $39 million (2003 dollars). Storm surge and large waves caused coastal inundation and erosion from Perth to Busselton, while fires fanned by the very strong winds burned an estimated 114,000 hectares of forest and farming land.
1986 – CYCLONE WINIFRED (Category 3)
Winifred became a cyclone on 27 January 1986, about 450 km north of Cairns. She crossed the coast south of Innisfail on 1 February, leading to three deaths – one during the storm, one as a result of associated flooding and a third from severe injuries sustained during the event. The best estimate of damage cost is between $130 and $150 million, most of this being crop losses to the value of about $90 million.
1989 – CYCLONE ORSON (Category 4)
Orson was one of the most powerful tropical cyclones to affect the West Australian coast. It crossed the coast on April 23 at Cape Preston, 70 km west of Karratha. Five hours earlier the eye of the cyclone passed over North Rankin gas platform where the minimum pressure recorded was 905 hPa, the lowest ever in an Australian cyclone. Several Indonesian fishing vessels were reportedly sunk by the cyclone in the vicinity of Ashmore Island, with at least four lives lost. The total damage cost was estimated to be in excess of $20 million.
1995 – CYCLONE BOBBY (Category 4)
Severe Tropical Cyclone Bobby moved slowly and erratically along the Pallara coast (middle of WA’s coast, near Exmouth), crossing it just to the east of Onslow on 25 February 1995. Seven lives were lost when two fishing trawlers were sunk off the coast from Onslow, while one motorist drowned while attempting to cross a flooded creek near Carnarvon.
1997 – CYCLONE JUSTIN (Category 3)
Severe Tropical Cyclone Justin crossed the Queensland coast as a category two cyclone northwest of Cairns on 22 March 1997. The combined effects of heavy rain, large seas and gale- to storm-force winds caused widespread damage in the region between Cairns and Townsville and the loss of two lives. Earlier in Justin’s lifecycle, 30 people were killed in Papua New Guinea and five people died when their yacht was destroyed. Justin was reportedly responsible for an estimated loss of $150 million to the agricultural industry alone.
2005 – CYCLONE INGRID (Category 4/5)
Cyclone Ingrid was unusual in that it impacted three states and territories in March 2005. It crossed the far north Queensland coast near Lockhart River as a Category 4. It intensified into a Category 5 as it impacted on the Northern Territory coastline before weakening and building back up to category four as it crossed WA’s Kimberley coast. Large sea swells outside of Australia’s warning area caused a boat to capsize near Kerema in Papua New Guinea, resulting in the loss of five lives. There were no reports of serious injury or death in Australia.
2006 – CYCLONE LARRY (Category 4)
2006 – Cyclone Larry crossed the north Queensland coast near Innisfail as a Category 4 system on March 20, 2006. The cyclone damaged 10,000 homes in the region and hit farmers hard. The Federal Government put the damage bill at $1.5 billion. No lives were lost and no serious injuries were reported.
2007 – CYCLONE GEORGE (Category 5)
Severe Tropical Cyclone George was both very intense and physically large. George was the most destructive cyclone to affect Port Hedland, WA since 1975. Reported impacts include three fatalities and numerous injuries at locations south of Port Hedland. Damage was estimated at $6.2 million.
2011 – CYCLONE YASI (Category 5)
Cyclone Yasi crossed the Queensland coast at Mission Beach and Tully, south of Cairns. It is the worst cyclone to hit Australia since 1918, with 290 km/h winds.
Tiresome crap Spangled – the event was well monitored nationally and internationally by meteorological organisations. The information, advice and warnings system was first class. Grow up. And be grateful that a major population centre didn’t get hit. Some of the anecdotes from Tully Heads are amazing – furniture sucked out of houses and just disappeared over roofs.
You’re a bunch of geriatric BoM bashers. There is nothing they could do to satisfy you.
“the event was well monitored nationally and internationally by meteorological organisations”
I didn’t think it was all that well monitored. I think the monitoring gear was pretty dodgy.
It was an awful storm but I think you’ll find that the max windstrength on landfall was around 200-250 kph, not 300 kph which would have made it a lot worse. The sea-surge was not great as compared with cat 5 cyclones and it would be doing people a favour letting them know that cyclones come worse than this.
The distance from Lucinda to Tully is about the width of the eye.
“The distance from Lucinda to Tully is about the width of the eye.”
here’s the data for Lucinda.
not what the true believers would have us believe.
The eye was about 35km wide and did not pass over Lucinda,not by a long shot. It went right over Dunk Island,South Mission Beach,Tully and Tully Heads,and filled in over the Tully Valley as it hit the mountains to the SW of Tully. Cardwell was just outside the eye,and would have experienced much higher wind speeds than Lucinda. The closest the eye wall got to Lucinda was 55-60km. The Lucinda gauge was NOT recording eye wall speeds. Go to radar.strikeone.net.au ,select Townsville Radar at 256km,pick your time parameters and learn something.
No-one claimed a 300km/hr windspeed,that’s media rounding.
It’s not a matter of ‘true belief’,simply concrete evidence,John.
Poly – Cardwell lost 200 homes – Tully lost 20. It’s reasonable to accept that Carwell copped the brunt of the storm and Lucinda is only 40km down wind from there. It felt the full force of this Cat3 cyclone. The BoM and the Government are beating this up as much as they can for political reasons. It’s a shame we don’t have a BoM that is non political, but we don’t.
“The eye was about 35km wide ”
This was the cyclone we were told was 800km wide! worst ever in our history!
What pathetic crap John. Are you saying Jim Davidson is a liar and ordering his monitoring team to fabricate data. Ring him and tell him – don’t be gutless now.
John, Lucinda barometric bottomed at 977.3 hPa,at around 12.05 AM . I repeat that radar imagery confirms that Cardwell was just beyond-no more than a km or two beyond- the southern wall of the eye.
I have just seen the barometric trace from the Clump Point tide gauge,operated by DERM,
,which experienced a 3m tidal surge. Clump Point just made it inside the NW side of the eyewall and is at the north end of the Mission Beach area. I took a reef dive cruise from there Xmas eve 2009.
The barometer bottomed at 930 hPa at around 12.30AM. Category 5 BOM,Cat 4 Saffir-Simpson.
Yasi was at 930hPa at landfall,the lowest recorded of the modern era. This was the most intense cyclone since at least 1918,and certainly the most massive as well given the breadth of the damage zone.
I’m sure when a Aussie cyclone comes along that is worse than this,we’ll see it compared with Yasi,SD.
John,the eye was 100 down to 35km wide by landfall,The eye is the CENTRE of the cyclone, and is windless. The cyclone itself ,by one metric, is the roughly circular zone inside the highest isobar loop,which is always much,much wider . I have already explained that another metric, the zone of destructive winds -gale force and higher- was from the Whitsundays to Cairns, that’s 700km at least. The largest diameter reliably observed on the Qld coast,I believe.
“Clump Point just made it inside the NW side of the eyewall and is at the north end of the Mission Beach area.”
Just remember that eye-walls are mostly not vertical. The eye on the ground can be three times the dia of the eye in the sky which gives you a view of the eye over a big area.
Clump point to Lucinda is about 0.6 of a degree [36 miles].
So how triply ironic is this – while the usual suspects here reckon the guvmint and AGW alarmists have an agenda of “beefing up the cyclone story” for political purposes.
The Courier Mail is now running saying they haven’t been alarmist enough !!!!
So this would be another water grid story – imagine building these cyclone bunker facilities after Tracy hit Darwin and they’d sit there for 30-40 years unused. So all the armchair pundits and know all Dad’s army climate sceptics would be saying “what a bloody waste money”. Cue mock outrage rant ….
You guys !
Anyway – you’ll get Abbott in soon – and you won’t be getting anything built after he reduces all expenditure to zero. But you’ll have more money for your seaside cottage till it blows away.
I reckon we put Spangled and John in charge of cyclone monitoring technology.
Hate to tell ya Luke but those of the nanny-state persuasion expect the taxpayer to provide all the solutions to their well being. And having experienced 35 years of almost utopian existence, Qld is struggling to rise from the torpor.
Just listen to the oldies being interviewed and they generally coped.
If you are aware that you live in an area prone to flood, cyclone, bushfire, earthquake, whatever and if you are smart you have a plan of survival. A BoM shelter is always a good idea.
All the politics and meeja crap in the world won’t substitute for a plan of action. For instance, when you live on a boat, you don’t hang around harbours, you get some sea room.
I find it usually pays to be uninsured or act as though you are. You think a lot better.
I’m not at all sure whether this image will show up here at this site.
It’s from the BOM weather site, and is a still from the 4 image loop as the Cyclone passed across the Coastline at exactly Midnight.
The weather radar map was for Cairns, and set to the 128Km chart.
It shows the eye coming ashore at Bingil Bay, and Mission beach is on Bingil Bay. Tully is to the direct West of this, and Cardwell to the South.
I understand it really has not much in the way of correlation to the Posts here, but it indicates in some way the relative size of the eye. (that’s if the link even shows up at all)
Thanks Tony. Bingil Bay is marked. the little protusion to its south is Clump Point,and Dunk island can be seen partly hidden by the black numerals at the bottom of the frame. Get the same shot from the 256km view,and the ones from Townsville radar and you will see the SW direction of travel. And that it is nowhere near Lucinda.
930hPa guarantees windspeeds of 250km/h plus.
I think Luke has raised the troublesome side of the story for the government-and the opposition. Both parties have failed to press for at least a few more well-rated cyclone shelters,despite the best of intentions immediately after Larry. A little more revenue from the mining windfall would help. Maybe that $20 million that the mining industry easily spent on swatting the super tax would have helped…
“Back before the days of ABC bedwetting even they agreed with you:”
I’m not taking a position on whether Yasi was a super-cyclone or not. Seems to be some contention around that – it was certainly big, but was it as powerful? I don’t know. Maybe we were just lucky it didn’t hit very populated areas and that most of the newer buildings are built to withstand cat 4-5. Emergency services were certainly pretty well organised so no doubt that also resulted in less fatalities.
Given some of the contention around wind speeds, I am wondering what Prof Nott would make of this storm and whether it does rate as up there, with the techniques he uses to look a prehistoric storms?
I have an ‘opinion’ that while this may have actually been the ‘worst’ Cyclone ever to come ashore here, the times we live in actually helped.
Mahina in 1899, and the two Cyclones in 1918 may have been comparable, although not on as huge a scale as Yasi, but they would have hit without any warning whatsoever, because there was nothing in the way of a warning system, and they had little idea what to do anyway.
Then, after those others in the 70’s, we became better prepared, in the way of buildings etc, knowledge about what they can do, and what we, as humans needed to do to be prepared.
So, when Yasi started heading our way, there was indeed plenty of warning, plenty of procedures in place, and a concentrated effort on all fronts to ‘inform’ the public of the situation, if you can see what I’m getting at here.
What this has resulted in, in a way, is to make Yasi ‘seem’ to be nowhere near as devastating as what it could have been, had it arrived in 1899, 1918, or even in the 70’s.
The lessons we learned from those earlier Cyclones aided here in making this one less of a drama than those earlier ones.
Is there any sense in this, or is it just wishful thinking?
This was not just blind luck that made it seem less of a problem.
Also, as much as I hate saying this, the Media probably aided in some way to keeping us all in a heightened state of awareness.
Also, it seems that while the general public were all asked to stay safe and ‘hunkered up’, it would seem that that advice is something that the media thinks does not apply to them. It seems that in the mad rush to get the most dramatic footage, they will go, and also do, what the general public were advised not to do.
The other side of that argument is that with the huge coastal population increase, boat dwellers etc, if the force had been comparable to a century ago you would expect more deaths and wreckage sustained.
As Imwd says, was it a super cyclone? As the drum is asking, is it down to AGW?
Or was it a “normal” event with “normal” consequences?
We have the best warning systems so far in our history,SD,and there is no earthly reason why people should die in Cat 5 cyclones that have been assessed and tracked for days. The 1899 Bathurst bay event would have killed no-one with observation equal to todays. That doomed pearling fleet would have moved north or south with ease.
As for the damage, we are not finished assessing it yet.
SD; as a veteran chart watcher and given the extent of current super cell like activity I say this cyclone Yasi is the largest in our living memory.
In fact every bit of weather from coast to coast in any direction has been sucked into the remnant depression. At least one spiral arm has crossed my ACT, NSW and Victoria
BTW folks, keep your gumboots on.
“there is no earthly reason why people should die in Cat 5 cyclones”
“That doomed pearling fleet would have moved north or south with ease.”
You mean with the ease those boats moved out of Hinchinbrook resort?
A pearling fleet-not that they exist nowadays-working in remote waters with a mothership would be equipped for weeks at sea,and would be moving large distances as a matter of course. They’d have full radar and satellite gear.They’d be moving to avoid the projected tracks days in advance. Yasi followed a path predicted four to five days out. If a hypothetical fleet was working between Ingham and Cairns they would have moved north to the least dangerous side of the track
I believe the Bathurst Bay fleet sought shelter but had little idea of the storms intensity to come or which way it was exactly heading.They’d have no means of detecting the eye until it happened to pass over them. A decision to run would be pointless: in which direction and how much time have we got?
Pleasure craft for part time sailors in a marina are not the priority that commercial vessels are. We don’t know how many of the owners were even at Port Hinchinbrook. We also don’t know how many if any chose to sail the 200km to Cairns or Bowen. But really,since these were not working craft with people LIVING on them,and the only means of transport in a wilderness of water and tropical coast,they are not a modern analog of the BB fleet.
Gaia has a brutal way of putting man back in his “box”
With the Bathurst Bay fleet, their very lives depended on their movements and they also were most likely not insured so those very resourceful sailors who even then had the EWS of the aneroid barometer and knew what was coming, were still unable to avoid that catastrophe.
I suspect they chose Bathurst Bay so they still had Princess Charlotte Bay as a last resort.
There were also possibly 100 aboriginals killed.
I don’t think that any reasonable person can conclude that Yasi was worse, or even as bad as Mahina.
I wear out a pair of gum boots every year. I even drive in them.
Do you know why they are called gum boots?
SD. gummm rubber hey
There was a story this morning on Macca where somebody reckoned they were called gum boots because they wore them to gather the gum from timber to make linoleum.
I think you got it right with the latex gum. As in gumshoe.
Another take http://kenskingdom.wordpress.com/2011/02/07/how-strong-was-yasi/
by Ken Stewart
Therefore, a defensible estimate for windspeed in the Cardwell-Mission Beach area would be in the range 220-240kph. This indicates it was a low Cat 4, not Cat 5.
Yasi was indeed an enormous system in area covered by cloud, the largest we’ve seen in the satellite era. The zone of maximum destruction (and winds) extended from roughly Silkwood to Cardwell, a distance of about 60km. The storm was roughly the same strength as Cyclone Larry but took longer to pass. Remarkably, it was still classed as a cyclone at Julia Creek, the furthest inland a cyclone has been recorded.
Contrary to many alarming reports, it was not the deepest cyclone (10m, 1899 or Mission Beach 3.6m 1918) nor the the most rain (907mm in 24 hours at Crohamhurst, 1893) nor the deadliest (307 known fatalities, Bathurst Bay, 1899).
Which is no consolation for the residents of Cardwell, Tully, and Mission Beach.
Val,what is Ken trying to say? That expert assessment is not credible? Is his ‘defensible’ estimate of windspeed for sustained winds,or gusts? Is he trying to tell the experts how to suck eggs?
The Joint Typhoon Warning Centre had Yasi at 930hPa about 80km out from landfall,with sustained winds at 135 knots/250km/h,and gusts to 165 knots/305km/h. The ensemble of estimates using the Advanced Dvorak Technique put out 127 to 140knots for maximum sustained winds. The eye came ashore a few hours later at 930hPa,so the beast did not weaken. Contrary to Ken’s statement,Larry was not as strong as Yasi,and it was moving at about the same speed in its last half day until landfall.
Is Ken’s conclusion worthy of special notice because he has looked at all the evidence,and he has the skill set in cyclone study?
After watching News 24 and seeing numerous eye witness accounts first hand, I say val has very little to go on with Ken’s obviously biased post. Two issues prevail, poor sampling to begin with and no subsequent instrument calibration checks.
At the very least such instrument failure as we had with Willis Is should indicate that extreme conditions were en-counted around the approaching eye of the cyclone. However we don’t know where and how forces in the vortex actually peaked. At a guess no one measured the vertical differentials even close to SL.
Then we had the air mass. No one can convince me Ken goes beyond a couple of decades with superior knowledge to what we get with those images from space. Val; stop peddlig other people’s muses and do your own observations.
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