Wednesday, February 02, 2011


We might moan about the weather a bit here, but at least we don't live somewhere where they get storms that knock out the things designed to measure them.

Willis Island is about 450km off the North Queensland coast, and earlier today suffered a direct hit from the eye of Cyclone Yasi as it approaches the mainland. There is a useful data based account of what happened before the storm neutralised the station here (disclaimer: I'm not sure I endorse the book titles listed on the side of the page, but the analysis is interesting on its own :). )

I also got a screengrab of the raw data from the official government meterology website for the place. Read from the bottom up, the wind can be seen steadily increasing to a steady 141 gusting 185 kph before being overwhelmed. The rain measurement failed a short time later before all telemetry ceased entirely. Sensibly, the place was evacuated of its resident meterologists yesterday, which is good since there is a good chance it is underwater right now due to the storm surge.
For Wellingtonians, the only thing remotely similar to this that has happened here is Cyclone Giselle, otherwise known as 'The Wahine Storm'. The highest reliably recorded gusts around Wellington in that storm were around 250kph. As a Category 5 Tropical Cyclone, Yasi is expected to generate gusts in the 300kph region, and anticipated to make landfall in a few hours (story link).
I like my extreme weather, but even if it turns out not to be as bad as predicted I am still glad this thing is a few thousand kilometers away.

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