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Yasi nears landfall, gusts over 200kph recorded

Winds continue to build in coastal parts of North east Queensland with some online weather stations losing their anenometers as a result of severe winds.Peak gusts were clocked at 200kph on islands near the Coral Reef before losing power.

Within the last 30 minutes, Yasi has tended on a slightly more southerly track than initially expected which may spare a direct hit on Cairns. Winds are continuing to gust quite quickly as the severe cyclone approaches and winds aren’t expected to peak until after might NZ time.

Storm surge, flooding and damaging winds are still of major concern as the cyclone bears down on the region. Marine forecasters have predicted 12 metre swells and combined with a high tide near midnight when Yasi is expected to hit land, it remains be a a very serious situation.




Nicola on 2/02/2011 10:13am

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?

I’ve always been fascinated by this kind of stuff.

WW Forecast Team on 2/02/2011 10:59am

Great question Nicola – I might use some of it (and my reply) in our next update.

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 int he bath the strongest water 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 see the stars as it passes over – very eerie) and around the eye, on the outside of it, are the strongest winds with gusts to 300km/h.

The further away from the eye the weaker the winds get. 

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 up to 300km/h winds cover an area thats just over half that width (175kms)


Philip Duncan

Stu on 2/02/2011 7:58am

Just curious if the guys from this site would like to be there?
I mean it is an awesome machine of nature, destructive of course but surely for people in the weather profession they have to be admired though i understand you have to be careful how you say things because they do kill and ruin lives etc.

So, did you think about heading there at all? it cant be just me that thinks about the idea…

WW Forecast Team on 2/02/2011 9:02am

Stu, I love big storms and would love to experience one… but even this one I don’t think I’d have the guts to ride out unless I was in a strong hotel.  In saying that Hurricane Camille wiped out concrete buildings in 1969:

– Philip Duncan

Stu on 2/02/2011 7:43am

They are saying its going to be a category 3 @ georgetown 12 hours after it hits the coast..
That is some major power reaching inland.

Sharyn on 2/02/2011 7:36am

Turning south, so do you think it now possible for the eye to cross south of Cardwell and place Townsville in the maximum danger from the storm surge? Or do you mean a possibility of it turning south and skirting the coast not making landfall? Thanks for your coverage BTW. Very accurate cyclone reporting:)

WW Forecast Team on 2/02/2011 7:56am

Hi Sharyn – thanks for the feedback.  We don’t think it will track too much further south.  It’s just been slightly more south west throughout today – which over a long distance has an impact.  It’s too close now for any major change, we think.

– WeatherWatch team

David on 2/02/2011 8:28am

Hi Stu.
Yes I would love to be there, although somewhere safe so that I could experience this monster.
the last time I experienced a real big storm was the Wahine storm ( Giselle) as a boy, stunning stuff.
And congrats weather watch, a great job in getting as much info out about this freak of nature to us all, a big hats off.

Cheers David.

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