Great Blizzard pounding Chicago; extremely dangerous Cyclone Yasi nears Australia

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 1:31 AM GMT on February 02, 2011

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The Great Groundhog's Day Blizzard of 2011 is wreaking havoc tonight from Texas to Michigan, and is poised to spread dangerous winter weather eastwards to New England during the day Wednesday. Four states have declared states of emergency—Oklahoma, Missouri, Illinois, and Kansas—and the National Guard has been called out in Illinois and Missouri. Up to 1/2” of ice has caused power outages in Indianapolis, and blizzard conditions have engulfed Chicago, where heavy snows of up to two inches per hour are falling in high winds. Winds tonight at Chicago's Calumet Harbor were tropical storm force, 39 mph, with gusts to 49 mph. Winds gusts of 60 mph were occurring at the Chicago buoy, 10 miles offshore in Lake Michigan.

The storm will probably be Chicago's biggest blizzard since January 2 - 4 1999, when a storm dumped 21.6" of snow. With tonight's snowstorm expected to have very unstable air aloft, "thundersnow" with snowfall rates of 4 inches/hour is possible, and there is a chance today's blizzard could rival Chicago's greatest snow storm of all time, the blizzard of January 26 - 27, 1967. That immense storm dumped 23 inches of snow on Chicago, stranding thousands of people and leaving an estimated 800 Chicago Transit Authority buses and 50,000 automobiles abandoned on the city streets and expressways. Twenty six Chicagoans died in the blizzard, mostly due to heart attacks from shoveling snow. Strong winds in Chicago today are expected to generate 14 - 18 feet waves on Lake Michigan, with occasional waves up to 25 feet. A significant coastal flooding event is possible for the city, with beach erosion and flooding along Lake Shore Drive. I'll have a full update on the great blizzard in the morning.


Figure 1. Satellite image of the Groundhog's Day Blizzard of 2011, taken at 8pm EST February 1. Image credit: NASA/GSFC.

Category 4 Tropical Cyclone Yasi nearing Queensland, Australia
Tropical Cyclone Yasi continues to intensify as it speeds westwards towards vulnerable Queensland, Australia. Yasi, now a Category 4 storm with 140 mph winds, is under light wind shear of 5 - 10 knots, and over record warm ocean waters of 29°C (84°C). Low wind shear, record warm sea surface temperatures, and favorable upper-level outflow should allow the cyclone to maintain Category 4 strength until landfall Wednesday evening (local time.)

The Austrailian Bureau of Meteorology had this to say about Yasi in their latest advisory:

YASI IS A LARGE AND VERY POWERFUL TROPICAL CYCLONE AND POSES AN
EXTREMELY SERIOUS THREAT TO LIFE AND PROPERTY WITHIN THE WARNING AREA,
ESPECIALLY BETWEEN CAIRNS AND TOWNSVILLE.

THIS IMPACT IS LIKELY TO BE MORE LIFE THREATENING THAN ANY EXPERIENCED DURING
RECENT GENERATIONS.

On Wednesday morning at 9:30am local time, Yasi hit tiny Willis Island, where a minimum pressure of 938 mb and a peak wind gust of 115 mph was observed before Yasi cut communications and damaged the radar.

Queensland faces three major threats from Yasi. The cyclone will bring torrential rainfall to a region with saturated soils that saw record flooding earlier this month. The latest rainfall rates in Yasi's eyewall as estimated by microwave satellite imagery are 20 mm (0.8") per hour. The GFS model is predicting that a wide swath of Queensland will receive 5 - 10 inches of rain over the next week, due to the combined effects of Yasi and a moist flow of tropical air over the region. Fortunately, Yasi is moving with a rapid forward speed, about 21 mph, and is not expected to linger over Queensland after landfall. The heaviest rainfall will miss Queenland's most populated regions to the south that had the worst flooding problems earlier this month, including the Australia's third largest city, Brisbane.

Yasi will bring highly destructive winds to a region of coast south of the city of Cairns (population 150,000.) Townsville (population 200,000) is farther from the expected landfall of the eyewall, and should see lesser winds. Strong building codes have been in place in Queensland since the 1960s, which will help reduce the damage amounts. The fact that Yasi's eyewall will miss these two major cities is lucky, since the coast is less populous between the two cities.

A dangerous storm surge in excess of ten feet can be expected along the left front quadrant of the storm where it comes ashore. The tidal range between low and high tide along the coast near Cairns will be about 2 meters (6 feet) during the evening of February 2. Yasi is expected to hit near midnight, halfway between low and high tide. Thus, the inundation from the storm surge will be about 1 meter (3 feet) less than it would have been had the storm hit at high tide.

Yasi is larger and more dangerous than Cyclone Larry of 2006, which hit Queensland as a Category 4 storm with 135 mph winds. Larry killed one person and caused $872 million in damage (2011 U.S. dollars.) Yasi will bring heavy rains to a region with soils already saturated from record rains, and may become a billion-dollar cyclone.


Figure 2. Tropical Cyclone Yasi as captured by the Willis Island radar, as the western eyewall of Yasi moved over the island. Image credit: Australian Bureau of Meteorology, and kindly grabbed for me by Margie Kieper.

Links to follow:

Live streaming video from Channel 9 in Cairns, Australia

Jeff Masters

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TC Yasi Floater - Rainbow Color Infrared Loop
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 428 Comments: 129902
286. IKE

Quoting FtMyersgal:

Thanks Ike!
You're welcome. Sun is out here and 44.8.
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Quoting IKE:

Where I found it...I was looking at some city forecast. I looked at my home town page and found the "classic" link in the upper right portion of the page.

Thanks Ike!
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284. IKE

Quoting FtMyersgal:

Where do you click to get back to the classic look?
Where I found it...I was looking at some city forecast. I looked at my home town page and found the "classic" link in the upper right portion of the page.
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Here is the radar this morning for Indiana and Chicago.

0


In terms of precipitation the majority fell about 60-70 miles south of the Michigan border in Indiana. Don't let the colors fool you. Chicago at it's worst got half of what hit rural Indiana.

Kokomo Tribune, Tuesday

Fort Wayne Journal Gazette

WTTV Indianapolis It looks like Vigo, Indiana was hard hit. Vigo is not a big city so 6,000 plus outages is a huge percentage of the total number of customers. AEP reported St. Joseph County had 110 outages. This is nothing compared to a good storm there where 25,000 will be out for days.
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Quoting IKE:

You can keep it as it was by clicking the classic look...which I just did. I'll keep it as it was:)

Where do you click to get back to the classic look?
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281. IKE

Quoting BahaHurican:
hmmm.... this new format is going to take a little getting used to...

L8r, all.
You can use the old format. Look for the "classic" link on a cities weather page. Look on the upper right of the page.
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hmmm.... this new format is going to take a little getting used to...

L8r, all.
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Morning all. Looks like the back side of Yasi is going to be pretty bad. Looking at the WunderMap for Cairns, the eye looks to be coming in just between Cairns and Innesfall, but there is now a large area of pink in the even larger CDO of red.... all on the back side. It's going to be a challenging six hours in QLD....
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Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 428 Comments: 129902
weather is becoming overhyped nowadays. wait to 2012 not sure its a good thing
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275. IKE

Quoting superpete:
We could certainly use that rain.We had a wet summer/ fall but it has been very dry since about Dec', but that is typical for winter down here.Hope it warms up a bit for you there when this front passes thru.
Suppose to be a nice weekend here....can't complain much compared to other areas.
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Quoting IKE:
Oh yeah....77 degrees....lucky. Rain here the next 2 days, after today. Highs in the 40's(:
We could certainly use that rain.We had a wet summer/ fall but it has been very dry since about Dec', but that is typical for winter down here.Hope it warms up a bit for you there when this front passes thru.
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From one "sunshine state" to another, best of luck to all our friends down under. Spent quite a bit of time in Queensland and it breaks my heart imagining what is going on there right now. A beautiful place full of really great people.
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272. IKE
Oh yeah....77 degrees....lucky. Rain here the next 2 days, after today. Highs in the 40's(:
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271. IKE

Quoting superpete:
Ike..currently 77 degrees on the way to a high of 85 today here. Come on down! SP
I wish I was on a beach...laying out on a lounge chair enjoying the breeze....catching a few rays:)

Thanks for the invite! Sounds like paradise to me. Always has.
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Quoting IKE:
I'm sick of this winter. I wish Kman would invite me down to the Cayman's for awhile.

Good luck to the folks in Australia.....that's a buzzsaw.
Ike..currently 77 degrees on the way to a high of 85 today here. Come on down! SP
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Watching now

http://www.ustream.tv/channel/uofficial-cyclone-yasi-news-channel

http://www.ustream.tv/channel/yasi-from-innisfail
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268. IKE
I'm sick of this winter. I wish Kman would invite me down to the Cayman's for awhile.

Good luck to the folks in Australia.....that's a buzzsaw.
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oh thanks...you just wanna re-inforce my winter depression, huh ike.

we both got nuthin to look forward to this week, overcast and drizzy. No rain here, just a temptation. But PLEASE, no freeze...ya'll definitely can NOT handle 10º.

Oh no way...

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266. IKE
Read this NO,LA. discussion about a freezing rain event possible and then another blast of winter early next week....


AREA FORECAST DISCUSSION
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE NEW ORLEANS LA
523 AM CST WED FEB 2 2011

.DISCUSSION...AFTER A DAY WITH A FEW STRONG TO SEVERE STORMS WE NOW
GET TO FOCUS ON THE POSSIBILITY OF A WINTER STORM. MUCH COLDER AIR
HAS SURGED IN BEHIND THE COLD FRONT WHICH IS ALREADY WELL INTO THE
GULF. OUR NEXT KEY PLAYERS WILL BE WHEN AND WHERE A SFC LOW WILL
DEVELOP IN THE GULF ALONG THE COLD FRONT AND THE EVENTUAL TRACK OF
THE L/W TROUGH WITH THE BASE CURRENTLY OVER THE FOUR CORNERS REGION.

TODAY AND TONIGHT...QUIET DAY IN STORE AS ARCTIC HIGH IS SETTLING IN
OVER THE REGION. RATHER COLD TEMPS ARE ACROSS MUCH OF THE AREA WITH
MCB IN THE MID 20S BY 10Z AND WITH WIND CHILLS BELOW 15 DEGREES.
SKIES WILL BE CLOUDY AS SW FLOW CONTINUES TO STREAM IN HIGH CLOUDS
AND HELPS TO KEEP BLOCK SOME SOLAR RADIATION. THINGS SHOULD START TO
GET INTERESTING TONIGHT. AN INVERTED TROUGH WILL START TO DEVELOP
OVER THE CNTRL GULF WHILE THE BASE OF THE L/W TROUGH WILL CONTINUE
TO DIG INTO OLD MEXICO. THIS WILL KEEP THE REGION IN THE SW FLOW
INCREASING THE MOISTURE FROM THE PACIFIC WHILE GULF MOISTURE STARTS
TO OVERRUN THE SFC TROUGH. PRECIP WILL START TO DEVELOP EARLY IN THE
EVN ACROSS THE SERN HALF OF THE CWA AND THEN SPREAD NORTH OVER
NIGHT. LOOKING AT FCST SNDGS CONDITIONS APPEAR TO BE FAVORABLE FOR
SLEET INITIALLY OVER AT LEAST THE NRN HALF OF THE CWA. THIS INCLUDES
PORTIONS OF THE MS COAST BUT WITH THAT SAID WE CANT EVEN RULE OUT
SOME LIGHT SLEET FOR PORTIONS OF THE SOUTHSHORE INITIALLY AS THE
COLUMN COLES TO THE WET BULB. THAT SAID IT WILL BE VERY LIGHT BUT
AFTER SUNRISE THINGS MAY BEGIN TO GET A LITTLE MORE WORRISOME IN
THE FAR NW.

THU THROUGH FRI NIGHT...THIS IS THE MAIN TIME FRAME FOR CONCERN. AT
THE SFC THE INVERTED TROUGH WILL REMAIN OVER THE CNTRL GULF BEFORE A
SFC LOW STARTS TO DEVELOP IN THE GULF LATE THU NIGHT. THIS LOW WILL
MOVE NNE INTO THE NERN GULF BY FRI EVN AND THEN ACROSS FL OVERNIGHT.
AS FOR THE UPPER LVLS THE ELONGATED L/W TROUGH WILL STAY IN PLACE
WITH A STRONG DISTURBANCE MOVING THROUGH THE FLOW TWRDS THE SRN
PLAINS. WITH THE COLD AIR MASS IN PLACE THE SETUP IS THERE FOR A
POTENTIAL ICE STORM OVER NWRN PORTIONS OF THE CWA...MAINLY ALONG AND
NW OF A LINE FROM NEAR BATON ROUGE TO TYLERTOWN.

THERE ARE MANY UNCERTAINTIES RIGHT NOW AND DECIDING WHICH MDL IS
HANDLING THINGS THE BEST IS ALL THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN AN ICE STORM
OR A VERY COLD RAIN. LOOKING AT FCST SNDGS SNOW IS NOT AN ISSUE BUT
THE QUESTION OF SLEET BUT MORE SO FREEZING RAIN/RAIN IS DIFFICULT.
AT FIRST SLEET LOOKS POSSIBLE MAINLY DUE TO EVAPORATIVE COOLING BUT
BY MID THU MORNING THE SNDGS SHOW A RATHER DEEP WARM LAYER IN THE
UPPER PORTIONS OF THE LOWER LEVELS AND MID LEVELS. THIS WARM LAYER
APPEARS TO BE SUFFICIENT(ABOUT 3-6K FT THICK) TO GET COMPLETE
MELTING AND THAT LEAVES FREEZING RAIN AND RAIN AS THE MAIN CONCERN.
EVEN WITH COOLING BY MELTING AND WE SHOULD HAVE A THICK ENOUGH WARM
LAYER THROUGH PRETTY MUCH THE ENTIRE THU-FRI TIME FRAME. DEWPOINTS
WILL REMAIN BELOW FREEZING ALL DAY THU AND MOST OF NIGHT IN THE NW
WHILE AT THE SAME TIME ALL MDLS SHOW QPF VALUES OF GREATER THAN
0.5 INCH OCCURRING. THIS SUGGEST TEMPS COULD HOVER FROM 30-34 MUCH
LATE THU AND OVERNIGHT. THE NAM HAS THE WORST CASE SCENARIO AS IT
SHOWS SLEET AND FREEZING RAIN BEGINNING IN THE NW FROM TOMORROW
MORNING THROUGH FRI MORNING. THE GFS IS WARMER WITH FREEZING RAIN
INITIALLY LATE THU AFTN AND EVN AND THEN SFC TEMPS AND DEWPOINTS
STARTING TO WARM NEAR 32-34 DEGREES. THE SREF AGREES MORE WITH THE
NAM WHILE THE ECMWF AGAIN SEEMS TO BE IN THE MIDDLE. WITH THAT
CONFIDENCE IS INCREASING THAT WE WILL SEE SOME WINTER WEATHER IN THE
NW WITH A DECENT CHANCE OF AN ICE STORM. AGAIN THE MAIN CONCERN IS
THE NW AND COULD INCLUDE BTR AND MCB. THINGS SHOULD WARM UP ENOUGH
TO GET ALL LIQUID BY MID FRI MORNING. NOW AFTER THE SFC LOW STARTS
TO PUSH TO THE NE INTO FL AND THE TROUGH MOVES INTO THE PLAINS/MS
VALLEY CONDITIONS MAY TEMPORARILY BECOME COLD ENOUGH FOR VERY LIGHT
SNOW TO OCCUR FRI NIGHT BUT THERE WILL BE NO ACCUMULATIONS AND VERY
SHORT LIVED.

HEADING INTO THE WEEKEND THINGS WILL BE QUIET AS HIGH PRESSURE WILL
BE BACK OVER THE REGION AND MUCH DRIER AIR WILL MOVE IN PLACE. THE
L/W TROUGH WILL STILL BE IN PLACE OVER THE CONUS WITH SW FLOW ALOFT
OVER THE REGION. THIS WILL BE A TEMPORARY WARMING PERIOD AS ALL OF
THE MDLS ARE STARTING TO SUGGEST ANOTHER VERY COLD AIRMASS WORKING
ALL THE WAY DOWN TO THE GULF COAST EARLY MID NEXT WEEK.
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265. IKE

Quoting aquak9:
I think we're gonna get the tail end of whatever that is, offa the northern west coast of CONUS. In about a week, I guess.

Ike I swear I can't handle the cold.
That's colder than anything I've seen all winter. It's a week out and may change....hopefully...or it may get down to around 10 degrees here.

I had .62 inches of rain with the cold front as it moved through. Cloudy and breezy here now...46.6 outside my window.
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I think we're gonna get the tail end of whatever that is, offa the northern west coast of CONUS. In about a week, I guess.

Ike I swear I can't handle the cold.
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250 I'm fairly certain that's Igor,
wow this is an impressive system, I hope everyone evacuated
Member Since: March 29, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 2377
262. IKE

Quoting aquak9:
g'morning ike....toldja :)
Morning. Yeah....U did.

6Z GFS @ 174 hours....incredibly cold, with the -10 line almost all the way to the Florida panhandle....


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g'morning ike....toldja :)
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260. IKE

Quoting BigToe:
It'll take a day or two to get used to the new look, but overall, good job.
You can keep it as it was by clicking the classic look...which I just did. I'll keep it as it was:)
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Quoting HadesGodWyvern:
India Meteorological Department
Tropical Cyclone Outlook
11:30 AM IST February 2 2011
=====================================

A low pressure area lies over southwest Bay of Bengal and adjoining Indian Ocean near 6.0N 83.0E.

Dvorak Intensity: T1.0




Looks like Cyclone Jal.
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258. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
India Meteorological Department
Tropical Cyclone Outlook
11:30 AM IST February 2 2011
=====================================

A low pressure area lies over southwest Bay of Bengal and adjoining Indian Ocean near 6.0N 83.0E.

Dvorak Intensity: T1.0

Member Since: May 24, 2006 Posts: 52 Comments: 47018
Insane.
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256. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
Tropical Cyclone Warning Center Brisbane
Tropical Cyclone Advice #20
SEVERE TROPICAL CYCLONE YASI (14U)
8:00 PM EST February 2 2011
=============================================

At 8:00 PM EST Severe Tropical Cyclone Yasi, Category Five (930 hPa) located at 17.2S 147.3E, or 165 km east southeast of Cairns and 135 km east northeast of Innisfail has 10 minute sustained winds of 110 knots with gusts of 155 knots. The cyclone is reported as moving west southwest at 13 knots.

THE VERY DESTRUCTIVE CORE OF CYCLONE YASI WILL CROSS THE COAST NEAR INNISFAIL CLOSE TO MIDNIGHT, WITH A DANGEROUS STORM TIDE AND BATTERING WAVES SOUTH OF THE CYCLONE CENTRE.

Tropical Cyclone Yasi, CATEGORY 5, will continue to move in a west-southwesterly direction and is expected to cross the coast near Innisfail close to midnight.

Coastal residents between Cairns and Ayr are specifically warned of an EXTREMELY DANGEROUS SEA LEVEL RISE [i.e. storm tide] as the cyclone approaches, crosses the coast and moves inland.

Higher than normal tides will exceed the high water mark with damaging waves and flooding in low lying areas in remaining warning areas to the south of Ayr.

VERY DESTRUCTIVE winds with gusts up to 290 km/h are expected to develop between Cairns and Ingham during the next few hours as the cyclone approaches. These VERY DESTRUCTIVE winds will extend inland to the nearby ranges including the Atherton Tablelands.

Due to the large size of the cyclone, people in the path of the VERY DESTRUCTIVE WINDS are likely to experience these conditions for about 3 to 4 hours.

DESTRUCTIVE winds with gusts in excess of 125 km/h between Cape Tribulation and Ayr are expected to spread inland overnight.

DAMAGING WINDS with gusts to 90 km/hr are occurring in remaining coastal areas between Cape Flattery and Sarina, and are forecast to spread inland and west to Mt Isa during Thursday.

Winds are forecast to gradually ease about the east coast during Thursday morning as the cyclone moves inland.

FLOODING RAINS will develop from Cooktown to Sarina tonight and gradually extend inland.

Tropical Cyclone Watches/Warnings
================================
A Cyclone WARNING is current for coastal and island communities from Cape Flattery to Sarina , extending west across the tropical interior to the Northern Territory border.
Member Since: May 24, 2006 Posts: 52 Comments: 47018
YASI approaching a cat 3 on the Kinetic Energy Scale.... would hate to see what a cat 5 on that scale would be.

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It'll take a day or two to get used to the new look, but overall, good job.
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253. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
Tropical Cyclone Warning Center Brisbane
Tropical Cyclone Advice #19
SEVERE TROPICAL CYCLONE YASI (14U)
7:00 PM EST February 2 2011
=========================================

At 7:00 PM EST, Severe Tropical Cyclone Yasi, Category 5 (930 hPa) located at 17.2S 147.4E, or 150 km east northeast of Innisfail and 175 km east of Cairns has 10 minutes sustained winds of 110 knots with gusts of 155 knots. The cyclone is reported as moving west southwest at 15 knots.

SEVERE TROPICAL CYCLONE YASI IS A LARGE AND VERY POWERFUL TROPICAL CYCLONE AND POSES AN EXTREMELY SERIOUS THREAT TO LIFE AND PROPERTY WITHIN THE WARNING AREA.

THE VERY DESTRUCTIVE CORE OF CYCLONE YASI WILL CROSS THE COAST NEAR INNISFAIL CLOSE TO MIDNIGHT, ACCOMPANIED BY A DANGEROUS STORM TIDE SOUTH OF THE CYCLONE CENTRE.

Tropical Cyclone Yasi, CATEGORY 5, will continue to move in a west-southwesterly direction and is expected to cross the coast near Innisfail close to midnight.

Coastal residents between Cairns and Ayr are specifically warned of an EXTREMELY DANGEROUS SEA LEVEL RISE [i.e. storm tide] as the cyclone approaches, crosses the coast and moves inland. The sea is likely to steadily rise up to a level which will be VERY DANGEROUSLY above the normal tide, with EXTREMELY DAMAGING WAVES, STRONG CURRENTS and FLOODING of low-lying areas extending some way inland. The storm tide will persist for many hours after landfall of the cyclone and secondary peaks may occur around high tide on Thursday morning. Higher than normal tides will exceed the high water mark with damaging waves and flooding in low lying areas in remaining warning areas to the south of Ayr.

People living in areas likely to be affected by this flooding should take measures to protect their property as much as possible, and be prepared to follow instructions regarding evacuation of the area if advised to do so by authorities.

DESTRUCTIVE winds with gusts in excess of 125 km/hr between Port Douglas and Ayr are expected to spread into the eastern tropical interior overnight. VERY DESTRUCTIVE winds with gusts up to 290 km/hr are expected to develop between Cairns and Ingham during the next few hours as the cyclone approaches and crosses the coast near midnight. These VERY DESTRUCTIVE winds will also occur to the north of the cyclone and affect the Atherton Tablelands.

Due to the large size of the cyclone, people in the path of the VERY DESTRUCTIVE WINDS are likely to experience these conditions for about 3 to 4 hours.

DAMAGING WINDS with gusts to 90 km/hr are occurring in remaining coastal areas between Cape Flattery and Sarina, and are forecast to spread into the tropical interior overnight and west to Mt Isa during Thursday.

Winds are forecast to gradually ease about the east coast during Thursday morning as the cyclone moves inland.

FLOODING RAINS will develop from Cooktown to Sarina during this evening and then extend inland overnight.

Tropical Cyclone Watches/Warnings
======================================
A Cyclone WARNING is current for coastal and island communities from Cape Flattery to Sarina, extending west across the tropical interior to the Northern Territory border.
Member Since: May 24, 2006 Posts: 52 Comments: 47018
252. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
2011FEB02 083200

T6.8
estimate pressure: 906.6
Final: 6.8
Initial: 6.9
Raw: 6.9

Member Since: May 24, 2006 Posts: 52 Comments: 47018
Yasi is at 135 knots.
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scary, I hope their ready for this
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248. xcool
ilove new wu
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I have a friend who's sister lives in cairns. She evacuated 25 miles west of the city, but the imagery would merit a further trip west, I think. Any thoughts? This is a 500km wide monster with very sharp teeth and lacerating tentacles.
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Quoting RecordSeason:
I think it's now officially a SS category 5.

Intensity 135kts 1-min average...


Not quite, has to be greater than 135 knots. It's only a definition on the scale, and obviously won't make any difference for the impending disaster.
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245. mnsky
Feel bad for the Aussies after they had also the flood now cyclone ;( Free counters!
Free counters!
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244. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
Tropical Cyclone Warning Center Brisbane
Tropical Cyclone Advice #17
SEVERE TROPICAL CYCLONE YASI (14U)
5:00 PM EST February 2 2011
=========================================

At 5:00 PM EST, Severe Tropical Cyclone Yasi, Category Five (930 hPa) located 17.2S 147.8E, or 220 km east of Cairns and 260 km north northeast of Townsville has 10 minute sustained winds of 110 knots with gusts of 155 knots. The cyclone is reported as moving west southwest at 19 knots.

Hurricane Force Winds
======================
40 NM from the center

Storm Force Winds
=================
120 NM from the center in southeastern quadrant
100 NM from the center in southwestern quadrant
60 NM from the center in northwestern quadrant
80 NM from the center in northeastern quadrant

Gale Force Winds
===============
240 NM from the center in southeastern quadrant
170 NM from the center in southwestern quadrant
190 NM from the center in northeastern quadrant
140 NM from the center in northwestern quadrant

Dvorak Intensity: T6.5/6.5/D1.5/24HRS

SEVERE TROPICAL CYCLONE YASI IS A LARGE AND VERY POWERFUL TROPICAL CYCLONE AND POSES AN EXTREMELY SERIOUS THREAT TO LIFE AND PROPERTY.

DURING THE EVENING, THE VERY DESTRUCTIVE CORE OF CYCLONE YASI WILL CROSS THE COAST BETWEEN INNISFAIL AND CARDWELL, ACCOMPANIED BY A DANGEROUS STORM TIDE SOUTH OF THE CYCLONE CENTRE.

Tropical Cyclone Yasi, CATEGORY 5, will continue to move in a west-southwesterly direction and is expected to cross the coast between Innisfail and Cardwell at about 11 pm EST tonight.

Coastal residents within the warning area, and particularly between Cairns and Proserpine including the Whitsundays, are specifically warned of an EXTREMELY DANGEROUS SEA LEVEL RISE [i.e. storm tide] as the cyclone approaches, crosses the coast and moves inland. The sea is likely to steadily rise up to a level which will be VERY DANGEROUSLY above the normal tide, with EXTREMELY DAMAGING WAVES, STRONG CURRENTS and FLOODING of low-lying areas extending some way inland. The storm tide will persist for many hours after landfall of the cyclone and secondary peaks may occur around high tide on Thursday morning.

People living in areas likely to be affected by this flooding should take measures to protect their property as much as possible, and be prepared to follow instructions regarding evacuation of the area if advised to do so by authorities.

DAMAGING WINDS with gusts to 90 km/hr are currently affecting the coast and islands, and are forecast to spread into the tropical interior overnight and west to Mt Isa during Thursday.

Between Port Douglas and Ayr these winds will become DESTRUCTIVE with gusts in excess of 125 km/hr developing during the next few hours, spreading into the eastern tropical interior overnight. VERY DESTRUCTIVE winds with gusts up to 290 km/hr are expected to develop between Cairns and Ingham during the evening as the cyclone approaches and crosses the coast. These VERY DESTRUCTIVE winds will also occur to the north of the cyclone and affect the Atherton Tablelands.

Due to the large size of the cyclone, people in the path of the VERY DESTRUCTIVE WINDS are likely to experience these conditions for about 3 to 4 hours.

Winds are forecast to gradually ease about the east coast during Thursday morning as the cyclone moves inland.

FLOODING RAINS will develop from Cooktown to Sarina during this evening and then extend inland overnight.

Tropical Cyclone Watches/Warnings
==================================
A Cyclone WARNING is current for coastal and island communities from Cape Flattery to Sarina, extending west across the tropical interior to Mt Isa.

A Cyclone WATCH is current for the remaining inland parts west to the Northern Territory border and north of Winton.

Forecast and Intensity
=====================
12 HRS: 18.6S 144.5E - 85 knots (CAT 3)
24 HRS: 19.9S 141.3E - 45 knots (CAT 1)
48 HRS: 22.1S 136.4E - 25 knots (TROPICAL LOW)
72 HRS: 23.7S 133.9E - 25 knots (TROPICAL LOW)

Additional Information
=======================

The latest imagery shows Yasi as very symmetric showing a well defined eye with surrounding deep convection. Dvorak intensity: Eye pattern white surround [6.0] with OW/W [0.5] eye adjustment giving DT=6.5, adj. MET=6.0. FT/CI=6.5. Max winds estimated at 110 knots [205 km/h] [AMSU/SATCON estimates at 125kn [1min]]. Surface observations indicate hurricane force winds extend about 50 nm [95 km] to the southwest of the track.

At 0600UTC [16:00EST] Yasi was just 120nm from the coast and with a steady 19 knot WSW movement, landfall is estimated at about 1300UTC [23:00EST] with the intensity maintained at category 5. The combination of being intense, larger than normal [gales extending about 250 nm [460 km] to the south] having 19 knot motion and with high tides expected at 21:00EST there is a significant risk of very dangerous storm tides south of the track.

Although the mountain ranges will greatly weaken the cyclone after landfall very strong downslope winds may extend well north of the track on the seaward side of the hills. Cyclone intensity is maintained inland beyond 24 hours although gales later Thursday afternoon will rely upon mixing of winds aloft south of the track.
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Quoting Patrap:
Posted by: WunderPress, 8:04 PM CST on February 01, 2011


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When I read it on my screen it ended by saying:

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NOT SURE I LIKE THE NEW LOOK
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Not good for Australia...

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New pass!

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Groundhog Day


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Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.

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