Queensland bracing for monster tropical cyclone Yasi

JTWC Warning Graphic for Yasi

Flood ravaged Queensland is preparing for a monstrous South Pacific Ocean Tropical Cyclone Yasi.  Forecast to reach Category 4+ strength on the familiar Saffir-Simpson scale, there really is nothing inhibiting this storm from explosively intensifying and reaching 135 knots+ in terms of sustained winds.  Ocean heat content below Yasi is high and sufficient to maintain a very intense TC.  As the USA deals with the upcoming blizzard with a couple feet of snow forecast for the Midwest, the ongoing Southern Hemisphere summer produces tropical cyclones.  In terms of history, Yasi will likely be compared to Cyclone Larry (2006) which made landfall somewhat north of the forecast track of Yasi.  However, the circulation of Yasi is considerably larger and, if it maintains it intensity until landfall, could be one of the strongest and largest TCs to make landfall in Australia in the past century.

Forecasting and Predictability note:  The ECMWF forecast model has been consistently forecasting a major tropical cyclone near or over Queensland on Feb 3 for the last 7-daysLink to last 14-Forecast Cycles.  This demonstration of 10-day TC track skill is quite impressive.

MTSAT Floater (IR)

Links to other satellite floaters:  Water Vapor, Visible, hourly IR animation of above.

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96 thoughts on “Queensland bracing for monster tropical cyclone Yasi

  1. I live in Cairns where the perpetual global warming is a most pleasant thing one must say. However,
    I have more than enough tea bags, sugar and dried milk to see me through.
    Camera charged for some footage of the flying cows and other life-forms.
    With any luck the grotesque ‘statue’ of Cap’n Cookie will be laid to rest in pieces by the dear….

  2. If only we had a suitably disabling carbon tax then all would be well……
    Fairly confident the Gillard will have some new tax waiting to be levied to fix things.

  3. The most interesting aspect of this impending superstorm is that the Coral Sea SST anomalies over which the storm is tracking are not particularly high. There is an arc of slightly “warm” water (+0.5deg C anomaly) extending from New Caledonia towards the Queensland coast, and this anomaly is best described as being weak. What is “abnormal”, however, is the huge “cool zone” of SST’s in the central equatorial and equatorial and sub-tropical E Pacific, with large parts of this cool tongue displaying anomalies of -2.5deg C. This storm appears to have originated on the SW margin of this huge “cool zone”, near Fiji. It would not be difficult to conclude that this superstorm is originating in that part of the Pacific Ocean displaying relatively cool SST anomalies, and tracking westward over parts displaying very weak warm SST anomalies!
    But go to the excellent UNISYS SSTA site http://weather.unisys.com/surface/sst_anom.gif
    to see for yourself

  4. This will cool down the SSTs a little. A sattellite IR image would be useful, I’m guessing tons of energy will be dumped into the upper atmosphere.
    bunkered says:
    January 31, 2011 at 1:45 am

    I have more than enough tea bags, sugar and dried milk to see me through.

    That’s great mate, but what about beer, did you stock up on that most important of provisions? Priorities mate, priorities.

  5. Heh. I glanced at the article title, and first read it as “Queensland bracing for monster cyclone. Yes!” I thought that was taking schadenfreude a bit far, but it was just my brain inverting the “i”. Oh, well.
    😉

  6. Phaaaark…….forgot…..must be gettin senile.
    Just getting in the ute now to the bottlo……
    You’re the best baa..Ta mate.

  7. bunkered says:
    January 31, 2011 at 1:45 am
    I have more than enough tea bags, sugar and dried milk to see me through.
    Baa Humbug says:
    January 31, 2011 at 2:50 am
    That’s great mate, but what about beer, did you stock up on that most important of provisions? Priorities mate, priorities.
    Hi guys,
    Reminds me of a joke that circulates the southern climes….
    Why do Queenslanders drink XXXX?
    Because they can’t spell beer! 🙂
    In all seriousness, Yasi looks like a biggie, I hope you all stay safe. We might get some of the leftovers down here in Victoria, but nothing like what’s coming your way.
    Take care.
    Tim

  8. My son and girlfriend from UK are flying into Cairns Tuesday 1st Feb at lunchtime. Can anyone suggest somewhere (hostel or something similar) safe they can sit this storm out for a few days please? I think they’ve a hostel booked for one night, but that’s likely to be far too near the coastline. Cheers anyone who can help.

  9. Ken Stewart says:
    January 31, 2011 at 2:19 am
    2 cyclones in 3 days, and 3 in 12 months. I’m over them. Wish us well, it’s a biggie.

    I hope that you, yours and all other folks thereabout get through unharmed, though it might be an idea to bring the washing in off the line.
    PS enjoying having a read at “kenskingdom – A Reality Check on Global Warming”
    http://kenskingdom.wordpress.com/
    Good luck, trust all goes well.

  10. Best of luck to you, Queenslanders. You’ve had a lot to cope with in the last few weeks — you really don’t need another cyclone just now.

  11. Not one but two tropical cyclones to hit Queensland.
    The first one – a mere bagatelle compared to the next one – Yasi – on it’s way has crossed the northern coast into the interior of Australia and will make it’s way down to the southern states.
    In the most southern state of Australia there is an ocean of water slowly making it’s way across a vast area of farmland which will end up at the sea. This ocean of water is fall out from the last Queensland event of over two weeks ago. It will take another two months before it arrives at the sea outlet -in the meantime small cities, hamlets and towns will be inundated.
    The first of the these new cyclones will start to add to this ocean tomorrow. The second monster cyclone will arrive over the coming weekend.
    This is more than 2000 miles from landfall.
    Your headline Queensland bracing for major tropical cyclone Yasi should also include the rest of the eastern seaboard of Australia.
    A news Australian report tonite included an interview with an old Victorian (Australian mainland most southern state) farmer. He stated that in 1956 his farmhouse was isolated by floodwater’s for 5 months. At the present time it’s estimated that his farm will be isolated for 2 months. However with these new cyclones he reckons the 1956 record might be broken.

  12. It’d be interesting to see why TC’s Anthony and Bianca fizzed out (Bianca moreso). Low SST? After all, a cylone has to continue getting its energy from somewhere. ISTR other tropical storms leaving a “visible” track of cold ocean surface behind them.
    One of the ideas I play with is the size of bomb it would take to snuff out a cyclone, dropping the device from high altitude into the “eye”, the detonation’s pressure wave to disrupt the vertical flow of air permanently. Obviously this sort of thing would have to be done over open water and there’s no guarrantee that a TC won’t re-form shortly thereafter.

  13. Predicted landfall of category 4 cyclone into the same area that caused previous flooding with even the politicians warning of devastation and still the dams are at 100% water usage levels.
    I wish you all the best over the coming week and hope you all come through it ok.

  14. Ryan,
    For the last 12 months or so the BOM predicted tracks have been rather good – to say the least.
    However, before that the performance was perhaps best described as sub-optimal.
    What changed?

  15. Yasi looks bad. We are all in a period not experienced for at least 210 years. A lot were caught out in the recent Qld floods as well as the Victorians during Black Saturday.
    Heed the warning and prepare to move to higher ground and batten down if you are in the storm track. We have had enough loss.

  16. Jimbo Says “Get ready for “caused by global warming.””
    No one weather event can be said to be caused by global warming. What can be said though is that…
    Floods in Pakistan, Queensland, Victoria, Brazil, Sri Lanka, Philipines, New South Wales.
    Heatwaves in Russia, north eastern US and Central Europe. In fact 18 countries set new record highs in 2010.
    Record blizzards and storms throughout the US and Europe.
    should certainly indicate to skeptics that something abnormal is going on and that there is probably a little bit of human induced climate change in all weather events as it intensifies and shifts the normal patterns. That is if you are truly skeptics…

  17. Ouch! That will leave a mark….
    I mean Queensland obviously has not had enough this summer, so the weather gods are giving it a beating.

  18. Interesting. I wonder what would happen if a tropical storm crossed the equator? I realize steering currents prb’ly wouldn’t allow it, but would it just dissipate ’cause of the reversed Coriolis force?

  19. Michael at 6:02 am:
    “Floods …. Heatwaves in Russia, north eastern US …. 18 countries set new record highs in 2010 … Record blizzards and storms throughout the US and Europe…. should certainly indicate to skeptics that something abnormal is going on.”
    More floods? Well certainly we can assume that flood reporting is better today than it was in 1911 or 1811 or 1511 AD or 311 BC. But as for there being “more floods” than at any other time in the past, ever…. well, that would be debatable.
    Your cite of “heatwaves” and other temperature record phenomena is equally dubious, since even the contemporary temperature record is scientifically flawed and in serious scientific dispute. In fact it is the record itself and the atrocious data collection/handling/manipulation “methods” that are the essence of the skeptic position. So again just putting some rhetorical flourishes around that fundamental problem does not strengthen your “obvious” temperature examples.
    Lastly, your “record blizzards and storms” is just plain silly, since your “record” is only ~150 years (at best case) and hence a laughably microscopic and unrepresentative sample of global climate history.

  20. Michael says:
    January 31, 2011 at 6:02 am
    “should certainly indicate to skeptics that something abnormal is going on….”
    Yep! And you missed out that my cat crapped in the rhubarb bed due to frozen earth caused by global warming.
    Why, even the animals aren’t safe from Co2 induced global warming in all it’s manifestations.

  21. *****
    Bernd Felsche says:
    January 31, 2011 at 4:43 am
    One of the ideas I play with is the size of bomb it would take to snuff out a cyclone, dropping the device from high altitude into the “eye”, the detonation’s pressure wave to disrupt the vertical flow of air permanently. Obviously this sort of thing would have to be done over open water and there’s no guarantee that a TC won’t re-form shortly thereafter.
    *****
    /Imagination mode
    Energy equivalence is the issue. The bomb would need to be near the total energy of the storm-area affected of the bomb to counteract it (dropping it in the descending-air center to cause an updraft there) . Without doing any math, I’d bet the bomb would need to be a hundred megatons to have an effect. The amount of radioactive fallout from such a huge fusion/fission bomb would be a bit problematic….
    An antimatter bomb w/little radioactive by-products would be the best choice. 🙂

  22. It’d be interesting to see why TC’s Anthony and Bianca fizzed out (Bianca moreso). Low SST?
    I think the best site for checking SST around Australia is the CSIRO:
    http://www.marine.csiro.au/~lband/web_point/
    Cyclones need a SST of at least 26C to boot up and Bianca off the WA coast a couple of days ago went from category 4 to nothing in about 36 hours once she tracked south into SST around 23 to 24C. SST off Perth were a bit above average so the capital was lucky (unlucky re lack of rainfall).
    Yasi is now a cat 3 spinning up to 205kmh and her expected path (http://www.bom.gov.au/products/IDQ65002.shtml) can be checked against the CSIRO point-n-click. The hottest sea surface spot in the path I can find (146.6e, 18.9s, just off the Queensland coast) is 30.4C, and that’s not good news.
    The CSIRO temps are over the past six days so with a bit of luck TC Anthony has cooled the sea surface a bit since their data was collated.
    Unless Yasi goes walkabouts, landfall looks like it’ll be about 1am Thursday. If the BoM models are accurate (http://reg.bom.gov.au/fwo/IDG00073.pdf), her inland western remnants might merge with a low over central Australia on Friday, and with a cold front in the Southern Ocean. It’s gonna be wet.
    Good luck, Queenslanders.

  23. Michael says:
    January 31, 2011 at 6:02 am
    “… should certainly indicate… …there is probably a little bit of human induced climate change…”
    No, I don’t carry that sort of hubris. Mankind is not as powerful as some elitists try to make us out to be.

  24. Michael says:
    January 31, 2011 at 6:02 am
    Jimbo Says “Get ready for “caused by global warming.””
    No one weather event can be said to be caused by global warming. ……………
    should certainly indicate to skeptics that something abnormal is going on and that there is probably a little bit of human induced climate change in all weather events as it intensifies and shifts the normal patterns.

    A “a little bit” maybe. As for record highs you conveniently ignore the record lows. Can you show me how this is “abnormal” as you put it? What would the people who lived through the MWP or the Roman Warm Period have said?
    ———————-

    FIRE:
    “…….a number of studies indicated a decrease in boreal fire activity in the last 150 years or so.”
    Source: Girardin, M.P., A.A. Ali et. al. 2009. Global Change Biology, 15, 2751–2769 [pdf]

    Russian Heatwave & Pakistan Floods
    NOAA said on 13 August 2010
    “…greenhouse gas forcing fails to explain the 2010 heat wave over western Russia. The natural process of atmospheric blocking, and the climate impacts induced by such blocking, are the principal cause for this heat wave.”
    ——————
    “According to meteorologists monitoring the atmosphere above the northern hemisphere, unusual holding patterns in the jet stream are to blame. As a result, weather systems sat still. Temperatures rocketed and rainfall reached extremes. ”
    Source
    ——————
    “Blocking events naturally occur from time to time. There is evidence that low solar activity increases their numbers , and the sun is currently in a period of minimum activity”
    Source

    http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/psd/csi/moscow2010/
    ——————
    Pakistan floods not unprecedented – more damaging floods in 1929 and 1980s
    http://pielkeclimatesci.files.wordpress.com/2010/09/mlk-2010-pakistan-floods.pdf
    In that same year, 2010, we had snow in the Amazon? Parts of South America experienced unusual cold and snow this year which saw hundreds of penguins die in Brazil as well as over a million tropical fish dead due to cold in Bolivia, snow on the Mediterranean beach. This is just Nature.

  25. Michael says:
    January 31, 2011 at 6:02 am
    In fact 18 countries set new record highs in 2010.

    As for the record highs I have to be highly sceptical. Climate scientists have an inbuilt bias towards forced climate change and their careers a dependent on continued warming. What if we enter a cooling phase lasting two decades would we blame man then? Joseph D’Aleo explains the temperature issues much better than myself.
    http://www.energytribune.com/articles.cfm/6440/Is-It-Really-The-Warmest-Ever

  26. liverpoollass says:
    January 31, 2011 at 3:21 am

    My son and girlfriend from UK are flying into Cairns Tuesday 1st Feb at lunchtime. Can anyone suggest somewhere (hostel or something similar) safe they can sit this storm out for a few days please?

    Lass you’ll find your son and DIL will get good advice upon landing at the airport. Trying to advise from a half a world away is not the way to go.
    I’m sure you’re worried, but you’ll find the communities up there are well prepared and experienced. Speaking of which, your son and DIL will have an experience of a lifetime they’re not gunna get at the old dart.
    To ease your mind, log onto the Cairns Council website and follow the local news.
    http://www.cairns.com.au/news/index.html

  27. Michael says:
    January 31, 2011 at 6:02 am
    “should certainly indicate to skeptics that something abnormal is going on….”
    Not at all Michael. This is the type of severe weather events one would expect during a regime change such as we are experiencing now. (every 35.8 years to be precise)
    So, being part and parcel of regular cycles, there is nothing abnormal happening.

  28. “However, the circulation of Yasi is considerably larger and, if it maintains it intensity until landfall, could be one of the strongest and largest TCs to make landfall in Australia in the past century”
    It would have to be big to outdo cyclone Tracy(1974)Northern Territory
    http://www.enjoy-darwin.com/cyclone-tracy.html
    I was in the NT that year,in a small mining camp.My daughter was born in April.We drove through floods to get to a midwife at a clinic.Went through to Katherine later that day.Katherine flooded and the hospital was on stand-by to evacuate.1974 was a bad year for Australia.
    .

  29. “135 knots+ in terms of sustained winds.”
    I love it when the reporting agencies give wind speed in totally useless terms like knots. Does anyone outside a sailor or maybe a pilot actually know how fast a “knot” is as compared to miles per hour or kilometers per hour? That kind of useless information only deserves to be ignored.

  30. Massive Cyclone approaching and Wivenhoe Dam is being kept at 100% capacity, haven’t learned much, have they?

  31. “Queensland bracing for monster tropical cyclone Yasi”
    Um …what good will it do to put on suspenders? Or is that only in Great Britain?

  32. Michael says:
    January 31, 2011 at 6:02 am
    Hi Michael
    Instead of flapping your arms about rather uselessly why don’t you do something untypical of an AGWer. CCer or CDer of whatever you guys call yourselves these days. Produce for us (the skeptics) historical evidence that we are currently experiencing extreme climate patterns outside normal variations.
    James

  33. Michael says:
    January 31, 2011 at 6:02 am
    ….should certainly indicate to skeptics that something abnormal is going on and that there is probably a little bit of human induced climate change in all weather events as it intensifies and shifts the normal patterns. That is if you are truly skeptics…
    Michael, you have absolutely no idea what you are talking about, neither as to your “something abnormal is going on”, nor as to your understanding of “skeptics”.
    Why do you think skeptics are as suggestible and manipulable as you are? Why do you think your neurotic “just so”, exclusively cataclysmal narratives pass truely scientific sceptical muster? They don’t. You should figure out why they don’t and without appealing to your needy and frightened “just so” thought process, because it is very clear that, so far, you haven’t got a clue.

  34. Michael says (January 31, 2011 at 6:02 am )

    “should certainly indicate to skeptics that something abnormal is going on and that there is probably a little bit of human induced climate change in all weather events as it intensifies and shifts the normal patterns. That is if you are truly skeptics…”

    No, Michael, not abnormal. Infrequent. You have been living in a global warm period. I assume you are young, since you appear to have no personal experience with a global cool period.
    Mates, you are hogging the “Warm Pool” and all of us to the east of you are left with the cold dregs (La Nina).
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/reference-pages/ensosea-levelsea-surface-temperature-page/
    http://www7320.nrlssc.navy.mil/global_ncom/anims/eqp/sst12m.gif
    FYI: NASA. 1998. SVS Animation 287 – Visualizing El Niño. Scientific. Scientific Visualization Studio. April 1. NASA Animation
    Sea surface height and temperature anomalies in the Pacific Ocean in August 1997 as measured by NOAA-14/AVHRR and TOPEX/Poseidon: SST, Sea Height, Wind, Thermocline
    See the “Reference Pages” tab in the top bar of WUWT for more.

  35. woodNfish says: January 31, 2011 at 8:41 am

    I love it when the reporting agencies give wind speed in totally useless terms like knots.

    One knot is about 1.151 miles per hour. Note that “knot” is defined as “sea miles per hour”, and so “knots per hour” is incorrect usage. It comes in handy when navigating.

  36. woodNfish says:
    January 31, 2011 at 8:41 am
    You’ve got a computer. Go to Google.
    Type 135knots in mph into the search box. Hit reurn.
    This will be on the first line of results:
    135 knots = 155.355225 mph

  37. Michael says:
    January 31, 2011 at 6:02 am
    Jimbo Says “Get ready for “caused by global warming.””
    No one weather event can be said to be caused by global warming. What can be said though is that…
    Floods in Pakistan, Queensland, Victoria, Brazil, Sri Lanka, Philipines, New South Wales.
    Heatwaves in Russia, north eastern US and Central Europe. In fact 18 countries set new record highs in 2010.
    Record blizzards and storms throughout the US and Europe.
    should certainly indicate to skeptics that something abnormal is going on and that there is probably a little bit of human induced climate change in all weather events as it intensifies and shifts the normal patterns. That is if you are truly skeptics…

    You have it exactly backwards. Many of us are old enough to know (we were actually paying attention to the news and the weather years ago) that this sort of thing happens all the time. That is why we are “skeptical” about assigning a cause to perfectly natural weather event clusters.
    Here’s a clue — go to the library and do some reading. You might want to start with the book “The Little Ice Age”

    By 1312, the NAO index was high, the Atlantic storm track shifted southward and the winters were mild again. Three years later, the rains began in ernest.
    The Deluge began in 1315, seven weeks after easter, “During this season [spring 1315] it rained most marvellously and for so long,” wrote a contemporary observer Jean Desnouelles. Across northern Europe, sheets o rain spread in waves over the sodden country side, dripping from thatched eaves, flowing in endless rivulets down muddy country lanes …

    It goes on to relate that there were torrential rains that lasted nearly all summer. It rained through May, July and August the rains did not stop, to the point that oxen stood knee deep in mud in what used to be productive fields.
    This sort of weather extreme has happened many times in the historical record if you bother to look for it. The only thing unusual about this years weather is that the media is presenting it devoid of historical context, and not bothering to mention that similar heat waves, and rain events in the past, long before we started driving SUV’s.
    Larry

  38. Michael,
    The basis of scientific thinking is to require firm evidence of significant effects. “A little bit in everything” is the antithesis of that.
    Yasi is a dead-set worry.

  39. Michael says:
    January 31, 2011 at 6:02 am
    there is probably a little bit of human induced climate change in all weather events as it intensifies and shifts the normal patterns.
    ———————-
    Michael, gonnae just giz a break, eh?
    Do you get paid per comment?

  40. There was flooding in Brisbane at the levels of the 1974 floods or higher once every 15 years on average between 1848 and 1911.
    There was not much global warming due to man made CO2 in the 19th century.
    I am repeating myself but so are the warmists!

  41. I heard on ABC radio here in Adelaide this morning that they are advising tourists not to come to North Queensland at this time. I would be postponing or cancelling if I had flights into Cairns planned for today (Tuesday) with the cyclone estimated to make landfall on Thursday. Good luck to all in N Qld.

  42. liverpoollass says:
    January 31, 2011 at 3:21 am
    My son and girlfriend from UK are flying into Cairns Tuesday 1st Feb at lunchtime. Can anyone suggest somewhere (hostel or something similar) safe they can sit this storm out for a few days please? I think they’ve a hostel booked for one night, but that’s likely to be far too near the coastline. Cheers anyone who can help.
    ==========================================
    If the current forecast is to be believed with a possible direct hit just south of Cairns from a very strong (and large in diameter) tropical cyclone…
    It will not matter if they are inland or up the coast a ways.
    These beasts produce profound amounts of damage, wind and flooding-wise, well inland.
    http://www.bom.gov.au/products/IDQ65002.shtml
    Trust me, mate…they could be without power and perhaps stranded for many days.
    They need to reschedule. It will be worth the extra cancellation fees in comparison to being stranded in a tropical environment with no power or perhaps even other utilities disrupted.
    Chris
    Norfolk, VA, USA

  43. Good loop here. Just hit ‘refresh’ to update.
    Just heard on ABC news that Jetstar have sold out of flights out of Cairns and that the others are charging $700-1200 a seat. They sure know how to exploit the situation.

  44. Michael, I live in NQ and cyclones are not unexpected or unusual. It is much wider in extent than usual which is why I’m concerned. Damaging winds will extend 400-500 km from the centre which includes us if the eye hits Cairns. I live here and I’m not blaming any greenhouse effect.
    Noelene, I’m sorry to correct you but Tracy was not a big cyclone, but houses in Darwin were not built as strongly in those days and there was less warning (and it happened Christmas Eve).
    Best advice for tourists? Don’t! Get out now, go south or west.
    For people in other parts of the world with friends/ family in the area, stay tuned but NQ is prepared and will look after each other. We’re not a third world country- it just seems that way when the power goes out! Incidentally don’t panic if you can’t contact anyone for 3 or 4 days from Wednesday night our time as power and communications will be out for sure.
    Ken

  45. It’s a lovely place FNQ, can get a bit swampy used to hunt merminks there for a while.
    Best wishes with them, common sense lot, not a lot of yips in them. I fear greatly for the Seaview Hotel Townie and the docks and hotel district Cairns.
    It is the water I am most worried about, We are now officially as big a swamp as the Amazon. No doubt about it we don’t muck around in bragging rights.
    Effin Drought and effin Flooding rains. Our national poet has a bit answer for bloody Oracle Mc Kellar.

  46. “Lastly, your “record blizzards and storms” is just plain silly, since your “record” is only ~150 years (at best case) and hence a laughably microscopic and unrepresentative sample of global climate history.”
    I agree, on natural scales it is clearly laughable, which is why it can only be explained by human induced global warming.
    As for the cold temp records, the same applies, the global warming is destabilising and shifting the normal weather patterns so you will get records broken on both sides. The key point is that weather is getting more extreme and unpredictable, across the board.
    Ken, the key point is have you ever had such a period of extreme weather before in such a short space of time? Including floods and cyclones, they have all happened before but not so many, at this intensity, over such a short period. Esily explained by la nina and warm oceans, but the intensity is rising, why?

  47. So Michael, I guess you have figured out these folks are not skeptics. The problem is what do you call them without hurting their feelings?

  48. Michael, sorry but humans, including you, have short memories. This is the largest cyclone to threaten us since we’ve been able to look at them with radar and satellites- about 40 years. There are many reports of severe cyclones before then. The current weather patterns are similar to the 1970s, and my father in law says, before that, 1950. And in 1893 the Brisbane River had several floods higher than the recent one. We have had comparable episodes of extreme weather before in living memory, and before that in our recorded history, and before that in the warnings and stories told to early white settlers by Aborigines. So Michael be alert but not alarmed. Stop trying to frighten children. It’s called weather, or Mother Nature, or whatever you like except man made anything.

  49. Pooh Dixie: Sorry to be overly picky, but actually you are too. Also wrong. ‘Knots per hour’ is accepted (though nowadays infrequent) usage, and has been for centuries. The great Nelson used it.

  50. Re Michael says:
    January 31, 2011 at 4:10 pm
    and yes, Mike to
    You guys are chicken littles; a 20 second google search, one third of one random year,
    check it out, do you want the other eight months?
    http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/oa/climate/extremes/1999/september/extremes0999.html
    http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/oa/climate/extremes/1999/december/extremes1299.html
    http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/oa/climate/extremes/1999/october/extremes1099.html
    http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/oa/climate/extremes/1999/august/extremes0899.html

  51. please don’t over-dramatise our wet season. north queensland is used to cyclones :
    1 Feb: Rockhampton Morning Bulletin: Yasi tracks north, Cap Coast safer
    DESPITE damaging winds from tomorrow morning, Cyclone Yasi isn’t expected to affect the region’s coastal communities as much as first predicted.
    This is the latest advice from the Bureau of Meteorology about the impact of the cyclone on the Capricorn Coast…
    Acting Mayor, Councillor Rose Swadling said the Bureau of Meteorology has advised they do not expect that the Capricorn Coast will experience any significant storm tide surge given our distance from the expected cyclone track…
    http://www.themorningbulletin.com.au/story/2011/02/01/cap-coast-safer-yasi-tracks-north/
    31 Jan: Sydney Morning Herald: How the floods coverage killed tourism
    Rockhampton airport – the only major airfield closed by the recent flooding – reopened this morning as Queensland does its best restore business as usual. However, you’d be forgiven for assuming that, for the past month, the whole of Queensland has been underwater from Camooweal to Coolangatta, Cooktown to Charleville.
    As politicians and the media have dramatised the extent of the floods, this has led to what the Queensland Tourism Industry Council terms “a wave of perception-driven cancellations”…
    None of the main tourism centres of far North Queensland (chiefly Cairns and Port Douglas), the Whitsundays, Sunshine Coast and Gold Coast were affected by the floods and remain fully open for business.
    Yet Daintree Ecolodge owner Cathy Maloney says: “International travel agents who were due to visit Tropical North Queensland have cancelled their familiarisation trips due to the dramatic coverage of floods – floods that are more than 1000 kilometres away.”…
    http://www.smh.com.au/travel/blogs/travellers-check/how-the-floods-coverage-killed-tourism/20110124-1a25x.html
    yet the fear-mongering is at full throttle:
    1 Feb: Courier Mail Brisbane: Queensland facing a deadly event with Cyclone Yasi: (Premier) Anna Bligh
    Ms Bligh said people must take the opportunity today to stock up on food and other supplies, with a real risk many could be without power for three to five days.
    “I think many people will be very frightened by what they’re hearing,” she said…
    http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/queensland-facing-a-deadly-event-with-cyclone-yasi-anna-bligh/story-e6freon6-1225997904763
    frankly i’m tired of emails from friends around australia and the world wondering if i’m under water.

  52. Mike says:
    January 31, 2011 at 4:25 pm
    So Michael, I guess you have figured out these folks are not skeptics. The problem is what do you call them without hurting their feelings?
    Well you can call me tired, tired of chicken littles getting into a flap about every extreme weather event or natural disaster.
    I blame the media and thank goodness that the magic molecule isn’t just an oil rich third world nation or It would have had It’s regime changed 100 times by now.

  53. Pat, so is Florida so I hope you won’t mind if I throw a little money towards your local Salvation Army and wish those of you who still have homes the best of luck.

  54. Michael says:
    January 31, 2011 at 4:10 pm
    Ken, the key point is have you ever had such a period of extreme weather before in such a short space of time? Including floods and cyclones, they have all happened before but not so many, at this intensity, over such a short period. Esily explained by la nina and warm oceans, but the intensity is rising, why?

    Simple answer Michael, the solar position is unlike anything we have experienced for 210 years. Even NASA are aware of atmospheric changes during low solar activity that affect the polar vortexes that shape the current AO,NAO and AAO positions. The atmospheric oscillations also contribute to the strength of ENSO. Nothing new here, just that we dont live long enough to experience the pattern twice in a lifetime.

  55. As the USA deals with the upcoming blizzard with a couple feet of snow forecast for the Midwest, …

    And, it has begun; as of about 6 PM CST T-shower activity had developed near San Angelo TX and is now widespread west and north of the DFW (Dallas-Ft. Worth) area.
    Just a few minutes Thunder-snow was being reported in Moore OK (per a post on Stormtrack.org) …
    .

  56. Michael January 31, 2011 at 6:02 am :

    No one weather event can be said to be caused by global warming. What can be said though is that…

    Record blizzards and storms throughout the US and Europe.

    should certainly indicate to skeptics that something abnormal is going on and that

    Oh the hubris of youth in the making of proclamations; and on what? 150 some years of recorded history? … guffaw …
    Get out from behind your keyboard and off of YouTube for a bit and take/monitor a few geology courses OR check out a couple college-level texts and do some reading …
    Report back; give a summary of what you then think.
    .

  57. Noelene says:
    January 31, 2011 at 8:39 am
    “However, the circulation of Yasi is considerably larger and, if it maintains it intensity until landfall, could be one of the strongest and largest TCs to make landfall in Australia in the past century”
    It would have to be big to outdo cyclone Tracy(1974)Northern Territory
    ======================================
    Tracy was an extremely intense, but very small circulation….and Darwin just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.
    This is a different beast, with a very very large circulation with hurricane force winds extending over 200 nautical miles across.
    So….so to speak….an elephant in the room as opposed to a little poisonous snake.
    One kills you by biting your ankle and one kills you by stomping you.
    Chris
    Norfolk, VA, USA

  58. World Ends Tommorrow at noon?The predictions of doom need a new spin and the hysterical nitwits all seem to have read the same talking points. Brainless repetition of dumb statements will not help convince a sceptic. Coulda woulda shoulda, are the key words, be very frightened cause it might rain, blow, snow or be sunny tomorrow.Its old, enough already, if you have any emperical evidence of unusual weather events be sure to post them or is it unprecedented cause its new to you?This year the retribution for this chicken little scam starts in my neighbourhood, by years end our dogooders will be fleeing derision, ie “Your so stupid you believed in CAWG.” Closely followed by the human hampster wheel act. Funny how wetting oneself in fear of the weather has a long and well recorded history and always the social cycles are the same, panic, religion , failure and then slapdown. Will history be reintroduced in our schools as a compulsory remedial lessons? Or shall the slapdown of the tremulous be an adequate lesson? Watching the collaspe of the agenda is well worth the wait and yes there is a price to pay for attempting to defraud taxpayers.

  59. 1 Knot = 1 nautical mile (6000 feet) per hour. Lord Nelson was not a landlubber, and never would have said “knots per hour”. That term would be proper for acceleration, not velocity.

  60. Michael, if weather events are becoming more intense and more frequent as you claim (rather than more intensely and frequently reported), how does that necessarily indicate that “something abnormal” was going on?
    What are the “normal patterns”?
    Also, at what stage does “a little bit of human induced climate change” (6:02 am) become “human induced global warming”(4:10 pm)?

  61. Yes, its now official.
    TC Yasi caused by climate change: Greens
    Updated 1 hour 11 minutes ago
    Map: Brisbane 4000 The Australian Greens say Tropical Cyclone Yasi is a “tragedy of climate change”.
    The party was heavily criticised after it linked the Queensland floods to climate change and blamed coal miners.
    Greens deputy leader Christine Milne says the cyclone is another example of why it is important to cut carbon pollution.
    “This is a tragedy, but it is a tragedy of climate change,” she said.
    “The scientists have been saying that we are going to experience more extreme weather events, that their intensity is going to increase, their frequency.”
    I wonder what price on carbon would be required to convince Yasi that all this huff and puff is not worth it.
    AGW – a powerful delusion.

  62. To see what has been happening over the few days, goto:
    http://internationalweatherarchive.org/satViewer.aspx
    select MTSAT-1R, and plug in the dates you want to see a timelapse of.
    Facinating running the slider back and forth seeing how the stuffing got knocked out of the WA one (Bianca) while the monster grows off Fiji and heads for QLD.
    It would seem that landfall is now inevitable !
    regarDS

  63. Jimbo says
    ———
    January 31, 2011 at 1:52 am
    Get ready for “caused by global warming.”
    ————————
    Also get ready for “caused by global cooling”.
    AND
    Water vapour has nothing to do with of rain.
    AND
    rain can’t fall if it’s warm.

  64. Cairns hospital is being completely evacuated:
    http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2011/02/01/3127118.htm?section=justin
    According to the article, they are expecting a big hit and urging people to get out in the next 12 hours or so, after which they will be on their own because of the dangerous conditions.
    Oh, and I won’t bother linking this, but the idiot Greens are already saying that this cyclone is a direct result of global warming. I think these people had better stay well away from north Queensland for a while – the locals will be unimpressed by this opportunistic crap on top of all their other troubles.

  65. “Michael, if weather events are becoming more intense and more frequent as you claim (rather than more intensely and frequently reported), how does that necessarily indicate that “something abnormal” was going on?
    What are the “normal patterns”?
    Also, at what stage does “a little bit of human induced climate change” (6:02 am) become “human induced global warming”(4:10 pm)?”
    Your arguing semantics, while what has been said would happen is happening. When the temperatures are ‘hottest on record’, and the storms are ‘biggest on record’ and the floods are more numerous and stronger than ever in such a small time frame, then I would say abnormal. You cannot use the MWP or the Little Ice Age, they are periods in history, not causes. Apart from the fact that you do not have accurate records there are workable theories for those periods, such as the WMP had a higher than average solar period. Even counting that it is hotter now than during the WMP. The LIA is thought to have had lower solar radiation and high volcanic activity.
    Regardless these things are now measurable and are not occurring. Stop looking for excuses and ways to deny what is happening and critically examine the evidence as true skeptics should.

  66. Best of luck to all down under in your preparations for this inclement weather.
    My eye did catch some of Michael’s comments as well as reactions to them. Most reactions were with anecdotal evidence and one with something about a 210 year cycle with the sun (don’t know what that’s about).
    Anyway, I have thought about the question of “anthropogenic extreme weather” (or whatever you want to call it) myself. I looked through the available data for weather on the web and I checked out the local library a few months back to see if they had an archive on weather events (only had local info). Anyway, I did find this National Climatic Data Center link that shows an interesting trend.
    http://lwf.ncdc.noaa.gov/img/reports/billion/timeseries2010.pdf
    I wish there was data before the 80’s (and data for outside the USA), but this chart shows a pretty well-defined trend in the “over a billion dollar weather disaster count” from the 80’s to the 90’s and then into this century. Again, take this as a case study, not a slam dunk proof of a global trend. Wow, take a look at 1998’s figures. I remember that year when “El Niño” came into the American vocabulary.
    Also, I made an Excel sheet out of the data found here, based on the North Atlantic Hurricane Database from the National Hurricane Center.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Atlantic_hurricane_seasons
    Again, this is only North America, and only covers hurricanes, but it still turns out to be an interesting case study for 1870 – present. A ten year running average and decadal sums show a very distinct increase in recent tropical storms and a couple periods of increased major hurricanes following the 1940’s (this past decade was quite active with major hurricanes). Regular hurricanes seemed to pick up a bit following 1940, but the trend doesn’t seem too much higher than the 1870’s and 1880’s (except this past decade, which was higher). Damage costs go up a whole lot over time, but that is probably due to more structures to break. According to the notes, 2005 was an incredibly high cost year, and the most active on record. 2010 tied for third most active year. All storms (the sum of tropical storms, hurricanes and major hurricanes), increased over the period. Granted, the data has flaws, as pointed out in the Wiki article, but it shows some rough order trends.
    Heck, even back in 2002 the Bush administration signed off on a report to the United Nations that entertained the possibility of climate change affecting property losses due to extreme weather.
    Quote:
    “The United States is a world leader in addressing and adapting to a variety of national and global scientific problems that could be exacerbated by climate change, including malaria, hunger, malnourishment, property losses due to extreme weather events, and habitat loss and other threats to biological diversity. ”
    http://www.gcrio.org/CAR2002/
    (Chapter 1 and Appendix D are especially good reading)
    The hypothesis seems sound; increase temperatures and storms will have more energy and moisture. I’m still hunting for more long term data that shows an indication either way.

  67. Geoff Sharp says:
    January 31, 2011 at 7:23 pm
    Simple answer Michael, the solar position is unlike anything we have experienced for 210 years. Even NASA are aware of atmospheric changes during low solar activity that affect the polar vortexes that shape the current AO,NAO and AAO positions. The atmospheric oscillations also contribute to the strength of ENSO. Nothing new here, just that we dont live long enough to experience the pattern twice in a lifetime.
    No answer to my response Michael?
    Not surprising, you have no answer and prefer to follow your religion.

  68. Interesting information on the timing and intensity of severe weather events in Queensland since ~1880 can be seen in the following link – scroll down to the bottom to see the information:
    http://blogs.news.com.au/heraldsun/andrewbolt/index.php/heraldsun/comments/karolys_global_warming_wetter_drier_worse_better_whatever
    The information presented in the blog is from the Australian Bureau of Meteorology. The data presented show no “eyeball-evident” trend of increasing “wetness” or “dryness” over Eastern Australia since 1900; and nor do they show any increase in the magnitude or frequency of major flood events in the Brisbane River since 1848 – if anything, they show a decrease. Finally, the peak rainfall event in Maleny, at the headwaters of the Stanley River Catchment, which is the main catchment for the Wivenhoe Dam, was in 1974, when 886mm of rain fell over six days, with this rainfall in part causing the 1974 Brisbane floods. This year, the peak rainfall event totalled 746mm over six days, although the rainfall intensity in other contributing catchments this year was higher than in 1974. A series of spring tides at the time of flooding in also exacerbated the effect of the 1974 floods.
    There is strong circumstantial evidence that the Queensland Government was preparing water systems in SEQ to cope with the AGW-predicted future of prolonged drought before the onset of the current La Nina, which included reactivating the construction of a very expensive sea-water desalination plant at Tugun, on the Gold Coast, to substitute a water supply for that from a proposed dam on the Mary River which was stopped as a result of political pressure.
    So, for me, it is difficult to see any “signature” of AGW in the current weather events besetting the regions for which rainfall and flood frequency-intensity data are available. And, as the Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) notes, in its excellent weather outlook briefings, the current La Nina and its signature in the Southern Oscillation Index is the strongest since 1917-1918! The 1975-1976 La Nina event is ranked third, and it strengthened after the 1974 floods. As the BOM also notes, several other La Nina events also rank closely in terms of the strongest events on record – these are 1975-1976, 1917-1918, 1955-56, and possibly 1988-89. Finally, the Brisbane flood events in the 1890’s were the biggest flood event recorded – there were, apparently, three major rainfall events then.
    Queenslanders are about to experience a quite awesome tropical cyclone, which is now at the upper Category 4 stage, with winds of 250km hour-1 within and near its eye wall. As I have noted above in this post, the Sea Surface Temperature Anomalies (SSTAs) are not particularly high in the Coral Sea, and nor were they particularly high in the storm’s generation area, near Fiji. The SSTAs are not the highest observed in the Coral Sea, but what is unusual is the enormous tongue of very cold SSTAs over the eastern 60% of the Pacific Ocean – this tongue of cold sea surface water is of course the promoter of the very high SOI currently signalling the La Nina event here. The ghost of AGW is not evident in these data either –
    but see for yourself on
    http://weather.unisys.com/surface/sst_anom.gif

  69. Not only do we in Australia have to deal with severe natural weather events, but we have to deal with this insanity too.
    http://www.smh.com.au/environment/conservation/an-unkind-cut-that-led-to-a-record-fine-20110201-1acgo.html
    There’s no hope for Australia with Ms Gillard (On the back of securing power at the last election stating there would be no price on carbon) now using the flooding and wind events as an opportunity to put a price on carbon (So that new industries can form and boom like IT did in the 1980s/90s – Yeah right Gillard).
    Like CA in the US, Australia is set to follow very soon.

  70. “Michael says:
    February 1, 2011 at 1:55 am”
    Severe events occuring more often, or just simply that there is more reporting of severe events?

  71. Thanks Otter17, some interesting data and thoughts there. Hi Geoff, do you have some links, I am unaware as to what you are referring to. My understanding is that sunspot activity is low so all things being equal we should be cooling, but we aren’t.

  72. dwh, I think you/we/everybody needs to look at the global situation. Like I have said previously no one weather event really proves anything on its own, but has anybody done a study of the last 12 months of extreme weather events. I know the Munich re insurance people made some claims but no real data to munch on.
    http://www.munichre.com/en/group/focus/climate_change/strategy_and_policy/strong_indicator_of_climate_change/default.aspx
    Every weather event can show or point to a previous similarly large one in the past but what about globally? Somebody needs to look at this.

  73. An insurance company is going to see more claims every year.Populations rise every year,mainly due to immigration(in western countries).
    Take Brisbane for eg
    The population of the City of Brisbane is estimated at 957,010 (as of June 2004). Together with six surrounding Local Government Areas, Brisbane has an estimated metropolitan population of 1,774,890 as of 2004. Brisbane City Council is the most populous Local Government Area in Australia and is one of the largest cities in the world in terms of geographic area. Brisbane boasts Australia’s highest rate of capital city population growth. The metropolitan population reportedly grew by 11.5% between 1999 and 2004.
    The Local Government Areas surrounding the City of Brisbane which are part of the Brisbane metropolitan area are:
    • Ipswich – A coal mining township and home of the Queensland Rail workshop. Ipswich’s population has nearly doubled since 1994. Population: 135,500.
    End
    The city I live in had a major flood in 1929.The city is expected to flood again.It’s a safe bet that a lot of property will be damaged or destroyed.
    http://www.launceston.tas.gov.au/lcc/index.php?c=174

  74. Re: Wayne Richards says: January 31, 2011 at 5:59 pm
    “‘Knots per hour’ is accepted”
    Thank you. I did not realize that. I must be outdated, since I myself was overly picky teaching the public boating course for the Power Squadron in the 1980’s. Cheers! 🙂

  75. otter17 says: February 1, 2011 at 4:23 am

    A ten year running average and decadal sums show a very distinct increase in recent tropical storms and a couple periods of increased major hurricanes following the 1940′s (this past decade was quite active with major hurricanes). Regular hurricanes seemed to pick up a bit following 1940, but the trend doesn’t seem too much higher than the 1870′s and 1880′s (except this past decade, which was higher). Damage costs go up a whole lot over time, but that is probably due to more structures to break. According to the notes, 2005 was an incredibly high cost year, and the most active on record. 2010 tied for third most active year. All storms (the sum of tropical storms, hurricanes and major hurricanes), increased over the period.

    Maybe, but perhaps another view would help:
    Maue, Dr. Ryan N. 2011. Global Tropical Cyclone Activity (2010 Update). Scientific. Florida State University. http://www.coaps.fsu.edu/~maue/tropical/

    2010 is in the books: Global Tropical Cyclone Accumulated Cyclone Energy [ACE] remains lowest in at least three decades, and expected to decrease even further… For the calendar year 2010, a total of 46 tropical cyclones of tropical storm force developed in the Northern Hemisphere, the fewest since 1977. Of those 46, 26 attained hurricane strength (> 64 knots) and 13 became major hurricanes (> 96 knots). Even with the expected active 2010 North Atlantic hurricane season, which currently accounts on average for about 19% of global annual hurricane output, the rest of the global tropics has been historically quiet. This work may be cited as Maue (2009) or Maue and Hart (2011).

    http://www.coaps.fsu.edu/%7Emaue/tropical/graphics/global_ace_yearly.jpg

  76. Michael says:
    February 1, 2011 at 6:36 am
    Thanks Otter17, some interesting data and thoughts there. Hi Geoff, do you have some links, I am unaware as to what you are referring to. My understanding is that sunspot activity is low so all things being equal we should be cooling, but we aren’t.

    Otter17 and yourself should educate yourselves before commenting on these issues. Solar variability is shown to have a large impact on climate. This was highlighted by NASA in 2001 by the AGW authors Schmidt & Mann.
    You can also read my article posted last July that predicted the current events. Look around at other areas of the site for more information.
    The UAH temperature value for January should see us back to the 30 year average.

  77. To all you idiots that think a carbon tax will change the weather please kill yourself! The gene pool is polluted enough with just you presents!!!!
    Now the reality is that all these areas have and always will be cyclone prone areas, idiots that claim its global warming please leave your address and i will come around and remove the fear from your mind.

  78. CARBON TAXES WILL NOT CHANGE WEATHER! OUR CURRENT TAXES CAN BARELY GET THE TRAINS AND BUSES TO RUN ON TIME!!! GIVE YOURSELVES AN UPPER CUT FOR BEING SO STUPID.

  79. Geoff Sharp says: “Otter17 and yourself should educate yourselves before commenting on these issues. Solar variability is shown to have a large impact on climate. This was highlighted by NASA in 2001 by the AGW authors Schmidt & Mann.”
    In your little rant you forgot to say that the 2001 report was in explanation of the little ice age. I already outlined above this cause of the LIA and do not dispute it. It does not explain why in contrast to the LIA the global temperature now is higher than the WMP. Though far from the cooling trend you mention we are heating up, hottest decade on record and equal hottest year on record does not match what you were saying.

  80. Michael says:
    February 2, 2011 at 5:13 am
    In your little rant
    You are obviously past any coherent discussion. I will let you wallow in your world of disillusionment.

  81. Pooh, Dixie says:
    January 31, 2011 at 11:37 am
    “knots per hour”

    That would obviously be one of those derivative acceleration thingies, I betcha!
    😉

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