WeatherWatch.co.nz reader “Nicola” asked this question tonight. “Watching Sky News and reading your updates, there’s often talk about the storm hitting at a particular time, yet obviously there’s already some pretty stormy weather. When you weather people talk about the storm hitting, what part of the storm are you meaning?
Also, I understood that they eye was the calm in the middle of the storm, yet in one report I read that the winds in the eye would be up to 300km/h. So what exactly is the eye?”
When they talk about landfall that is when the centre of the eye reaches land. Surrounding the centre of the eye are the strongest winds, just like when you pull the plug in the bath the strongest currents surround the centre of the spinning water.
And also just like that plug in the bath, the centre can be dry as the water races around it.
So the centre of the eye is usually calm and clear.
Residents near Innisfail will actually see the stars twinkling in the night sky as it passes over – very eerie – but just 25kms north or south of the eye’s centre, on the outside of it, lie the strongest winds with gusts near 300km/h.
The further away from the eye the weaker the winds get.
Of course once the eye passes over those same severe destructive winds return but from the opposite direction along with the torrential rain.
As far as where the storm hits – that will be the area with the damaging gales. In this case that area is 300kms wide. The destructive winds (up to 300km/h in diameter) cover an area that’s just over half that width (175kms).
on 2/02/2011 1:50pm
What is going to happen with the long tail out behind Yasi?
on 2/02/2011 1:54pm
Depending on what satellite map you’re looking at the main area of gales and rain is where the clouds are bright white, or dark orange. The outer feeder bands are mostly high cloud with little to no wind (much like the conditions that preceded the storm). In 12 to 24 hours conditions will start to improve from the east.
on 2/02/2011 2:03pm
I’ve been following the MTSAT Infrared Colorized Image Loop shown in your “Intense Cyclone Yasi nearing Landfall (+Maps & Links)” and it looks as if the ‘tail’ could be turning into another TC as when we saw ‘Yasi’ forming.