"Phenomenal Seas" as Cyclone Yasi heads towards Australia (+Maps)

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Severe Tropical Cyclone Yasi continues to push out into the open waters over the Coral Sea as it races towards Cairns and the Queensland Coast.

The cyclone continues to track in a westerly direction but should start to take a slightly more south west direction overnight tonight.

We have extensive coverage of Yasi, including the latest forecast maps and satellite images.

Yasi is currently a Category 3 tropical cyclone with winds averaging 155km/h and gusting to 220km/h.

Image : Infrared satellite map of Yasi today / MTSAT

It is racing towards Queensland at 33km/h and this fast movement will help push up the winds in front of it (but decrease them a bit behind it).

The air pressure is 960hPa but is predicted to fall in to 938hPa late tomorrow predicts Australia's Bureau of Meteorology (BoM).

Meanwhile BoM is using strong language in their latest shipping forecast, saying the Yasi is creating "phenomenal seas" around the centre of the low stretching as far as 75kms.

WeatherWatch.co.nz says these incredible seas could pose a serious risk to the fragile Great Barrier Reef which lies directly in its path.   The weather news authority says Yasi may cause damage that will take years if not decades to repair.

However WeatherWatch.co.nz says the estimated arrival time for Yasi to make landfall could be favourable with the sea heading towards low tide as the eye makes landfall, which could reduce the storm surge.

Predicted swells around 10pm on Wednesday as Yasi moves in.  Orange indicates 3 metre swells, purple at least 8 metres.  Image / Weathermap.co.nz

WeatherWatch.co.nz says that while Yasi has the same strength as Wilma it is much bigger in size.

Wilma is about 2500kms in diameter.  To compare, New Zealand is just 1500kms long.

As of 4pm NZT Yasi remained 1300kms east of Cairns.

Here is the latest track prediction for Severe Tropical Cyclone Yasi, issued by BoM.

Predicted tracking by the Joint Typhoon Warning Centre

Yasi late this morning / Google Earth


Keeping updated

Hi all,
The ABC is running continuous coverage on TC Yasi. Can probably see it at abc.net.au/news
-Kris from Oz


Hi there is this going to hit New Zealand at all!!!!!!!

No it won't luckily.  Yasi is

No it won't luckily.  Yasi is going to make landfall in Queensland and in a couple of days it will hardly even register as a low let alone a cyclone.

- WW

What do you reckon - a 50%

What do you reckon - a 50% chance of Cat 5 before landfall?
SST's are a little lower - but not really low enough to stall growth - just slow it a bit. And everything upstairs seems to be in order...

We said last week that it may

We said last week that it may touch Cat 5 and we still believe that, despite - as you say - it being a bit slow.  It will certainly be a very powerful storm when it makes landfall.  Looks very ominous on the maps tonight.

- WeatherWatch

Cyclone Yasi

This thing is frightening, makes ours last weekend seem mild by comparison. I really feel for the people of Queensland at this time and on top of the flooding recently as well.

If one like this was to hit us I really wonder just how big the damage would be, I think it would be massive, just about wipe Northland out.

I only hope it weakens very soon.
Thanks for the good work in bringing all this to us.

Phenomenal seas

Hi this is actually a correct term to describe the largest waves possible, over 14 metres:

WMO Sea State Code Wave Height (meters) Characteristics
0 0 Calm (glassy)
1 0 to 0.1 Calm (rippled)
2 0.1 to 0.5 Smooth (wavelets)
3 0.5 to 1.25 Slight
4 1.25 to 2.5 Moderate
5 2.5 to 4 Rough
6 4 to 6 Very rough
7 6 to 9 High
8 9 to 14 Very high
9 Over 14 Phenomenal

Yep it sure is - we do see it

Yep it sure is - we do see it from time to time.  Wouldn't want to be a ship anywhere near it!

- Philip Duncan

Out at sea

Worried for my son who is out fishing diving for crays....

hope they are well away

he stays at Wangetti when on land, that doesn't look good either

Thanks Phil - I cannot get

Thanks Phil - I cannot get enough info about this at the moment. I have 2 adult children and a few grandchildren in Innisfail. They were hit hard in Larry and with this coming I just need to know everything. Im waiting to hear if they have got out of town.

This is NOT going to impact on the areas that had flooding in Qld, this is FAR NORTH QUEENSLAND - 4 - 5 days drive north of that flooding. xx

Again thanks Phil.


The flooded area on the central part of the east coast of qld is only 8-12 hours south of cairns not days and Brisbane is 19-20 hours drive south of cairns. So the extra rain that cyclones bring always affect places like rockhampton even when they are north near cairns or innisfail.

Just to clarify.... Innisfail

Just to clarify.... Innisfail is a 20 hour drive north of Brisbane where some of the major flooding occurred. The rainfall will affect flooded areas because of the interconnected river systems - but one disaster at a time. Hopefully your kids and grandkids are safe and well either in a safe place in Innisfail, or have got out. Nearly all of my family are in Innisfail (my hometown) and are concerned but prepared after cyclone Larry. I can't wait for this to be over and wish everyone up north the best of luck.

But the problem is . . .water

But the problem is . . .water runs downhill ?!

water catchment

Because the Queensland region is majority flat alot of the water will find its way into thoses catchments the same ones that caused all the flooding last time. You are right it is alittle north tho. Either way this is going to be another significant event for Queensland . I hope those guys get through it my thoughts will be with all the Aussies what a truely differcult time it is for them. D