Destructive Tropical Cyclone Yasi has this morning reached Category 5 status with brutal winds averaging 215km/h and gusts now almost hitting 300km/h (295).
As predicted by WeatherWatch.co.nz last week Yasi could potentially hit Category 5 strength – the highest category with winds up to 300km/h.
WeatherWatch.co.nz head weather analyst Philip Duncan says Yasi will cause widespread destruction.
“This is the biggest cyclone we get in this part of the world and it will cause widespread destrucrtion and a high risk of loss of life”.
“We can expect houses blown apart, roofs torn off new homes, windows blown in and a storm surge of over 2 metres which flood the entire coastline”.
Mr Duncan says people should not be staying to look after their properties and should get out now. “This is like one giant 1500km wide tornado coming towards them – and we all know what tornados can do”.
Late last night Air New Zealand cancelled flights to Cairns today as the severe weather started to move in.
Yasi’s central air pressure is now estimated to be at 922hPa.
WeatherWatch.co.nz says once making landfall Yasi will fall apart and after a very long 12 to 18 hours of incredibly severe weather it will no longer be a cyclone as it travels towards the Australian interior.
Philip Duncan says this morning that widespread wind damage and severe flooding is now an unavoidable scenario for the region between Cairns and Innisfail.
Latest Tracking from BoM
Thar she grows – Cyclone Yasi remains to grow out at sea, dwarfing the cities she is about to hit. Note you can now clearly see the eye in the centre.
on 1/02/2011 11:16pm
What’s a cyclone category 5 in Hurricane strength?
on 2/02/2011 2:38am
cat 5 cyclone = cat 5 hurricane… consider this strong as hurricane katrina, with the wind going in the opposite direction
on 2/02/2011 2:50am
Hi James – actually Yasi is just shy of a Cat 5 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson scale. But Katrina was a cat 3 hurricane when she eventually made landfall.. Yasi would be a strong Cat4 hurricane using their scale – or a weak to moderate Cat5 cyclone on the Australian scale.
on 1/02/2011 10:31pm
Will it be hitting long island?
on 1/02/2011 10:20pm
I’m watching this unfold with a heavy feeling. I did some training with the SES before moving from Townsville. A Cat 5 is something no one wants to face in a populated area.
Worst case I thought but then ….there is what always seemed fantastical..a CAT 5 crossing during high tide..a double strength worst case. I cant believe whats unfolding and as someone who has lived in that region I am very worried for my friends that are there.
on 1/02/2011 9:32pm
What will happen with Yasi after it hits Queensland?
on 1/02/2011 9:34pm
It’s expected to continue heading inland into Queensland and dissipate as it heads over the interior.
on 1/02/2011 9:03pm
I’ve seen predictions of up to a metre of rain. This storm is terrifying. But not, apparently to this bunch of Australian storm chasers, who are planning to stream it live from the eye (!). Their live feed should go up at their site: http://www.swxc.net/ later today. They chased Anthony recently and Ului last year.