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Category 3 Tropical Cyclone Debbie Pounding Queensland, Australia

By: Jeff Masters and Bob Henson 4:23 PM GMT on March 27, 2017

Tropical Cyclone Debbie is battering Northeast Australia’s Queensland coast with torrential rains and high winds as the storm heads west-southwest at about 5 mph towards an expected landfall near 3 pm EDT (19 UTC) Monday. Debbie intensified into a Category 3 storm with 115 mph winds on Monday morning U.S. time, and satellite images on Monday morning showed an impressive storm with a well-defined eye surrounded by eyewall thunderstorms with very cold cloud tops that were increasing in intensity.

Winds at Hamilton Island in the south eyewall of Debbie were 85 mph (10-minute average), gusting to 113 mph at 2:30 am local time Tuesday (12:30 pm EDT or 16:30 UTC Monday), and winds at Hardy Reef were sustained at 63 mph, gusting to 93 mph at 11 pm local time. According to storm surge expert Dr. Hal Needham, storm surge levels were beginning to build on Monday afternoon (local time) at several sites along the Queensland coast. Laguna Quays, Mackay and Dalrymple Bay all reported storm surge levels exceeding 0.5 m (1.64 ft).  Water levels should increase through the night as Debbie approaches the coastline, with storm surge exceeding 2.5 m (8.2 ft) in localized areas between Bowen and Mackay. Debbie has favorable conditions for intensification, with light wind shear and warm ocean temperatures of 28 - 29°C (82 - 84°F.) However, Debbie does not have much time to intensify before landfall, and will likely be at Category 3 strength then. Recent runs of the HWRF model predict that Debbie will dump a large area of 8+ inches of rain near the coast, which is likely to cause considerable flooding and agricultural damage.


Figure 1. Tropical Cyclone Debbie nearing landfall as seen by radar at 16:00 UTC (12 pm EDT) March 27, 2017. Image credit: Australia Bureau of Meteorology.


Figure 2. Track of Tropical Cyclone Debbie as projected by the Australian Bureau of Meteorology at 12:10 am Tuesday, March 28, 2017 (10:10 am EST Monday). Debbie is a “4” on the Australian tropical cyclone intensity scale, whose 1-to-5 numbering system has lower intensities than the Saffir-Simpson equivalent familiar to Americans, which uses 1-minute sustained winds. According to BOM, Debbie’s top 10-minute sustained winds at 10:10 am EST Monday were 175 km per hour (108 mph), and Debbie’s top 1-minute winds were 115 mph, corresponding to a low-end Category 3 storm on the Saffir-Simpson scale. Image credit: BOM.


Figure 3. Tropical Cyclone Debbie, as seen on Monday afternoon (local time), 03:50 UTC March 27, 2017. At the time, Debbie was an intensifying Category 2 storm with 105 mph winds. Image credit: NASA.

Tropical cyclone history of the Queensland, Australia coast
According to NOAA’s historical Hurricane Tracks tool, Queensland has been hit by nine tropical cyclones of Category 3 or higher strength on the Saffir-Simpson Scale since 1989. Four of these storms have hit since 2011:

Tropical Cyclone Marcia hit central Queensland near Shoalwater Bay as a Category 4 storm with 145 mph winds on February 20, 2015, causing $590 million in damage. No fatalities were reported.

Tropical Cyclone Nathan hit far northern Queensland as a Category 3 storm with 115 mph winds on March 19, 2015, causing $57 million in damage.

Tropical Cyclone Ita hit Cape Flattery, Queensland as a Category 4 storm with 145 mph winds on April 12, 2014, causing over $1 billion in damage to agriculture. Ita killed 40 people in the Solomon Islands while it was forming (thanks go to WU member elioe for this correction.)

Queensland suffered a devastating blow on February 3, 2011, when Tropical Cyclone Yasi made landfall in northern Queensland as a Category 4 storm with 155 mph winds, killing 1 and causing $2.5 billion in damage (2011 dollars.) According to EM-DAT, Yasi was the most damaging tropical cyclone in Australian history.

The Australian Bureau of Meteorology has a nice summary of the major to storms to impact Queensland before 2011.

The Atlantic’s first Invest of 2017, 90L, not likely to develop
A large area of low pressure a few hundred miles east of the Bahamas was designated as the season’s first Atlantic “Invest”—Invest 90L—by NHC on Sunday. 90L is over waters that are near 24°C (75°F)—barely warm enough to support formation of a subtropical depression or subtropical storm. Satellite loops on Monday morning showed that 90L had a vigorous circulation, but little in the way of organized heavy thunderstorm activity. With wind shear a very high 50 - 70 knots, and with the low headed northeastwards over cooler waters, development into a subtropical storm is unlikely. 90L will pass a few hundred miles southeast of Bermuda on Tuesday. According to NOAA’s Historical Hurricane Tracks, the only March tropical cyclone ever recorded in the Atlantic was a Category 2 hurricane that passed through the Lesser Antilles on March 8, 1908.

Hurricanes Matthew and Otto get their names retired
The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) announced on Monday that two major hurricanes in the Atlantic from 2016—Matthew and Otto—will get their names retired from the active list of hurricane names. Matthew and Otto are the 81st and 82nd names to be removed from the Atlantic list. The WMO will replace Matthew with Martin and Otto with Owen when the 2016 lists are used again in 2022.

Links
Bowen Australia radar loop courtesy of Brian McNoldy.

Jeff Masters and Bob Henson

Hurricane

The views of the author are his/her own and do not necessarily represent the position of The Weather Company or its parent, IBM.

Reader Comments

Thanks for the update gentlemen.
Thanks Dr. and Mr. Henson; based on this current radar loop (as opposed to the delayed floater loop), it looks like Hayman Island just off the coast is starting to get lashed by the outer eye wall winds; land fall is on the way and you can clearly see the 24 hour intensification trend leading into this morning:






Thanks for the new blog entry!

Hmm, still, cat 3 or 4? Anyway, best wishes for the Aussies affected!!


(Click to enlarge)


Thanx for the update.
From Last Blog

on a WU note do I have to get a Disqus account to continue on WU when it updates



new ENSO update all NINO regions are cooling off this includes Nino 1+2

statement from CPC on said area

"... scenario of anomalously warm SSTs in the East Pacific (which very recently started cooling) that lack westward extension along the equator as would be anticipated based on previous warm El Nino-Southern Oscillation events. The anomalously warm SSTs in the East Pacific also appear predominantly surface driven, with little warm water available at depth."

latest Sub-Surface Anoms.



SSTA over past 7 days
large cooling in Nino 1+2 within past week as highlighted in back

Does anyone have the specific reasons for Otto being retired? (Matthew is obvious)
Surprised re comment about Yasi being most damaging trop cyclone in Australian history

What about Tracy, which pummelled Darwin?
http://www.thecourier.com.au/story/4558565/cyclon e-tracy-was-the-worst-of-them-all/?cs=2452
Quoting 6. Icybubba:

Does anyone have the specific reasons for Otto being retired? (Matthew is obvious)


Otto was a Major Hurricane that made landfall killed over 20 and caused US$190 million in damages
If your looking for privacy on any social media. Your chasing yer own tail usually. If you have a credit card and a I phone, they know yer every movement..already.

We were doing social media here way before anyone.

But alas, all the comments, blogs and retorts, wu mails, 4356 for me,and 300 photos are now going extinct as the Wooly Mammoth come Monday.


We had a good run, now we will be run over with disqus bots beaucoup. They just awaiting for the switchover to begin the assault here. It is already n werks from many nutbag sites, WUWT esp.

So we will be bombarded with BS, deep dish derp,and the other right leaning Bullsharks.


I for one am sincerely DISAPPOINTED in How it has all went down with IBM at the wu helm as a Parent.

We were promised classic wu would remain forever, That promise was run over by a no name admin who was in way over His head then.

So we who have spent a decade or more writing blogs by the hundreds are now muted.

I've been going over the paid members legal contract words in the agreement. There are 7 violations that relate directly to that.

We have been tossed aside like a Happy meal container onto the freeway.

We all lose Monday coming.


Semper Fidelis
Quoting 8. wunderkidcayman:



Otto was a Major Hurricane that made landfall killed over 20 and caused US$190 million in damages

Thank you
Bad mojo and bad timing with a Major coming ashore thru the overnight hour's there.

Those are unnerving long hours to be endured overnight.





Quoting 9. Patrap:

If your looking for privacy on any social media. Your chasing yer own tail usually. If you have a credit card and a I phone, they know yer every movement..already.

We were doing social media here way before anyone.

But alas, all the comments, blogs and retorts, wu mails, 4356 for me,and 300 photos are now going extinct as the Wooly Mammoth come Monday.


We had a good run, now we will be run over with disqus bots beaucoup. They just awaiting for the switchover to begin the assault here. It is already n werks from many nutbag sites, WUWT esp.

So we will be bombarded with BS, deep dish derp,and the other right leaning Bullsharks.


I for one am sincerely DISAPPOINTED in How it has all went down with IBM at the wu helm as a Parent.

We were promised classic wu would remain forever, That promise was run over by a no name admin who was in way over His head then.

So we who have spent a decade or more writing blogs by the hundreds are now muted.

I've been going over the paid members legal contract words in the agreement. There are 7 violations that relate directly to that.

We have been tossed aside like a Happy meal container onto the freeway.

We all lose Monday coming.


Semper Fidelis


Translation for us lurkers...
Any idea when they are going to put up the FAQs mentioned at the head of the blog? I just went there and could not find anything about signing up to Disqus or any other information about the transition except that it is going to happen April 3. Also, I did not know when I signed up at Disqus that there was an option to enable commenting on other sites, and now I do not see it available. I think it would help if WU would make available to all users the details of the procedures for participating in the comments section of the new blogs.
In terms of the US (and nothing beats the live coverage from Dr. Forbes on TWC), the t-storms are starting to fire on the way into TN; have to see how this pans out over the course of the afternoon.  No storm reports yet over the past 3 hours; so far so good..............The conus jet does not seem to be in a favorable position near/over TN to cause a severe outbreak today but there will be isolated strong t-storms later as we start to reach maximum day-time heating around 3-4 pm CST in those parts and there are two current severe t-storm warnings on both sides of Memphis:





Quoting 9. Patrap:

If your looking for privacy on any social media. Your chasing yer own tail usually. If you have a credit card and a I phone, they know yer every movement..already.

We were doing social media here way before anyone.

But alas, all the comments, blogs and retorts, wu mails, 4356 for me,and 300 photos are now going extinct as the Wooly Mammoth come Monday.


We had a good run, now we will be run over with disqus bots beaucoup. They just awaiting for the switchover to begin the assault here. It is already n werks from many nutbag sites, WUWT esp.

So we will be bombarded with BS, deep dish derp,and the other right leaning Bullsharks.


I for one am sincerely DISAPPOINTED in How it has all went down with IBM at the wu helm as a Parent.

We were promised classic wu would remain forever, That promise was run over by a no name admin who was in way over His head then.

So we who have spent a decade or more writing blogs by the hundreds are now muted.

I've been going over the paid members legal contract words in the agreement. There are 7 violations that relate directly to that.

We have been tossed aside like a Happy meal container onto the freeway.

We all lose Monday coming.


Semper Fidelis


Guess that they'll just give us our $10 back. I am one of few that still carries a flip phone & I catch a lotta flack for that being that I'm the boss. It keeps me from having to respond to every email etc. on a moments notice. I do carry my laptop and a mobile hotspot for when something really can't wait though.
Here is the 3-hour chart which should update during the course of the afternoon:


last3hours Reports Graphic
Quoting 6. Icybubba:

Does anyone have the specific reasons for Otto being retired? (Matthew is obvious)


It was the first hurricane to pass over Costa Rica and caused almost $200 million of damage there. It killed over 20 people and the retirement of a name is down to the country. I'm surprised Hurricane Earl wasn't retired given it killed almost 100 people and did ~$250 million in damage.

Also to note, Hurricane Otto was upgraded to a category 3 at landfall in the tropical cyclone report released about a month ago! Meaning 2016 had 4 major hurricanes - 15-7-4.
All Hurricane stats and numbers can be found on wikipedia.

Just type in your storm and years usually.
The Queensland region is going to get clobbered today; that very large and strong core band in the SE Quad is wrapping around just in time for landfall.........................




Report from Costa Rica on hurricane Otto


Excerpt:

Otto is the first hurricane in recorded history since 1851 to directly affect the country. It brought torrential downpours, with daily accumulations of 300 mm and strong winds with gusts of 15 to 30 m/s in northern parts of the country. The amount of accumulated rainfall caused landslides and avalanches, severely affecting Upala, Bagaces and Bijagua. Ten human lives were lost and there was significant damage to wide areas of arable land, as well as to trees, flora and fauna. From 16 November, the National Meteorological Institute issued 76 weather reports concerning this event. The media were involved, particularly television services, which broadcast continuously from the NMI, and a constant presence was maintained on social media via Twitter and Facebook. Technical meetings were attended, having been convened by the President of the Republic under the framework of the Emergency Operations Centre of the National Commission of Risk Prevention and Emergency Response (CNE-EOC).
Quoting 6. Icybubba:

Does anyone have the specific reasons for Otto being retired? (Matthew is obvious)
well it did beat up central America pretty good and it was rare and unusual some deaths and damage did occur that just off the top of my head for starters
Quoting 13. CaneFreeCR:

Any idea when they are going to put up the FAQs mentioned at the head of the blog? I just went there and could not find anything about signing up to Disqus or any other information about the transition except that it is going to happen April 3. ...

Yeah, transitioning has become a difficult thing lately, hrrm, cough ... ;-)
210. thetwilightzone
1:56 PM GMT on March 27, 2017
2 +
hi all


i will be hositing a blog party on my blog one last time be for we all moved over too the new site


Black tie, or Homer Simpson sweat pants ?
Looks like my last cardiogram....

Quoting 17. Envoirment:



It was the first hurricane to pass over Costa Rica and caused almost $200 million of damage there. It killed over 20 people and the retirement of a name is down to the country. I'm surprised Hurricane Earl wasn't retired given it killed almost 100 people and did ~$250 million in damage.

Also to note, Hurricane Otto was upgraded to a category 3 at landfall in the tropical cyclone report released about a month ago! Meaning 2016 had 4 major hurricanes - 15-7-4.

Gaston, Matthew, Nicole, and Otto correct? something of note is that those all affected land except Gaston
Quoting 13. CaneFreeCR:

Any idea when they are going to put up the FAQs mentioned at the head of the blog? I just went there and could not find anything about signing up to Disqus or any other information about the transition except that it is going to happen April 3. Also, I did not know when I signed up at Disqus that there was an option to enable commenting on other sites, and now I do not see it available. I think it would help if WU would make available to all users the details of the procedures for participating in the comments section of the new blogs.


agreed
27. bwi
I got a few pics of flood damage in Costa Rica from Otto when we were on a bike tour there last January. The area near Tenorio National Park is used to plenty of rain, but the landslides and flooding in this area caused major damage and fatalities.

Edit -- Oops, pics not loading, you'll just have to trust me on that!


Hurricanes Matthew and Otto are retired!

The 2016 Atlantic hurricane season produced 15 named storms.
The last time an "O" hurricane retired was Opal, 1995.The last "M" hurricane retired was Michelle, 2001.


Will the low pressure system, north of the Dominican Republic develop? The 2017 Atlantic hurricane season is getting interesting!!

Here is the close-up real time radar loop (about a 15 minute delay to this specific post at 1:26 PM EST) for Debbie; on final approach to landfall on the mainland and Hayman Island is about to go into the calm eye............The eye wall went right over the Island.




pretty good live stream from midge point, a little bit south of where debbie should come ashore

Link
Well I'm certainly not surprised Otto was retired.It was a rare and unusual hurricane and when some of the reports of damage came out the following days after the storm,I knew there was at least a 80% chance that the storm would get retired.Of course we all knew Matthew was going to be a top contender and the most likely retired from the season.Mexico has a odd way of retiring its storms (Ingrid (2013) was retired but not Emily from 2005).
22. barbamz

I read those gas stories the other day about the Yamal . You gonna love the Siberian times Have you seen the the one about their fizzling lakes ?

Photos Reveal More Than 200 Bright Blue Arctic Lakes Have Started Bubbling With Methane Gas
Not good.


Satellite images have revealed more than 200 strange, bright blue lakes in Russia's Arctic regions that are bubbling "like jacuzzis" as a result of leaking methane gas.

The lakes are a type of thermokarst lake, which form when thawing permafrost causes the surface to collapse and fill in with meltwater. But unlike normal, dark thermokarst lakes, these ones are bright blue and bubbling, because of methane that's leaking into them before escaping into the atmosphere.


Link

The algae are eating the sulphur in the gas, hence the color.
And Debbie is also taking a last minute jog to the West; looks like it's headed towards Abbot Point where this particular doppler site is located.............Hopefully, their radar dome will survive the winds (with no power outages as well) so we can keep on accessing this loop.
Quoting 32. RobertWC:

22. barbamz



those lakes are the quickening friend faster and faster
Quoting 7. DocMartinHK:

Surprised re comment about Yasi being most damaging trop cyclone in Australian history

What about Tracy, which pummelled Darwin?
http://www.thecourier.com.au/story/4558565/cyclon e-tracy-was-the-worst-of-them-all/?cs=2452


In this case, I think that EM-DAT uses figures without adjusting for inflation. If adjusting would be done, damage from Tracy would be in 5 - 6 billion USD range.

But also in many cases EM-DAT figures greatly differ from other sources. Inclusion of events is also unsystematic. For example, EM-DAT lists two storms in 1990 causing a combined 10 million USD in damage as the only damaging natural events in Finland. After the 2010 heat wave, three storms within two weeks each caused more than 10 million USD in damage.

I would never rely on EM-DAT.
NEARING LANDFALL
13P/MCYC/D/C3
The land interaction with the Western Quad facing Australia is already starting starting to weaken the circulation a little bit causing the heavy t-storms around the eye wall to ramp down a little (warm over the tops) and dissipate......The more the better as that slight Western jog might delay the crossing of the center across the mainland by 15-30 minutes:



Quoting 34. KEEPEROFTHEGATE:



those lakes are the quickening friend faster and faster


Someday real soon , a Russian ship is going to sail into a gas cloud off the Yamal / It'll be a clear calm day , the ocean will be fizzing like ginger ale. A sailor is going to light a smoke with his Bic Lighter. That'll be the last time we hear from the good ship "Trumpkin". An LNG tanker . The explosion will be heard in Vladivostok.
The Russian sailor will be found to be a smoker, even though smoking on LNG tankers is strictly forbidden.
Quoting 37. weathermanwannabe:

The land interaction with the Western Quad facing Australia is already starting starting to weaken the circulation a little bit causing the heavy t-storms around the eye wall to ramp down a little (warm over the tops) and dissipate......The more the better as that slight Western jog might delay the crossing of the center across the mainland by 15-30 minutes:






Looks like it might be stalling, or doing a short loop.
Thanks for the update Gentlemen...
http://www.ssd.noaa.gov/PS/TROP/floaters/90L/imager y/vis0-lalo.gif
90L is not looking too hot, what is the chance of formation at?
Quoting 12. bryanfromkyleTX:



Translation for us lurkers...


We've been shafted! More accurate translations are less family friendly
Quoting 41. Icybubba:

http://www.ssd.noaa.gov/PS/TROP/floaters/90L/image r y/vis0-lalo.gif
90L is not looking too hot, what is the chance of formation at?
it's actually better. Give it time.
Quoting 38. RobertWC:



Someday real soon , a Russian ship is going to sail into a gas cloud off the Yamal / It'll be a clear calm day , the ocean will be fizzing like ginger ale. A sailor is going to light a smoke with his Bic Lighter. That'll be the last time we hear from the good ship "Trumpkin". An LNG tanker . The explosion will be heard in Vladivostok.
The Russian sailor will be found to be a smoker, even though smoking on LNG tankers is strictly forbidden.


The entire idea that shipping petroleum from the Arctic will boom. Dies, .............. if the out gassing of stored methane from the sea bed, and the land gets rolling. Trust me, my helper set off gasoline fumes in the woods in Utah one morning . We had 300 pounds of Nitropel boxes on fire. It's that "chain of events" thing the airplane crash investigators always speak of.
Media coverage of climate change
Yale Climate Connections - March 27.

Key books and reports on climate change and the media, 2003-2011 (Part 1).


(...) To provide perspective on the strange news world in which journalists and citizens now find themselves, Yale Climate Connections offers this historical review of the key books and reports on media coverage of climate change -- in two parts. Part 1 covers the years 2003 to 2011. Part 2 will cover 2012 to the present. (...)


Many downloadable for free (see included links).
Quoting 39. fmbill:



Looks like it might be stalling, or doing a short loop.


Don't know about a loop but you are correct in terms of the latest radar frame below at 18:20 UTC (2:20 PM EST).....Landfall is not going to occur at 3:00 PM EST and it might be delayed by at least an hour; unless this storm just stalls out for a while.......Perhaps a good thing if the storm continues to weaken a bit before land fall.

NFL owners vote 31-1 to approve Raiders move to Las Vegas

Money, money, money .

The stadium in Vegas will need the largest air conditioner the world has ever seen.

A sustained effort for the last 2 days, light hours only, has door knocked all beach areas and asked residents to evacuate.
Well over a thousand defense force, electricity linesman and Emergency Management personal are now in the Mackay to Proserpine and Bowen areas to assist once the eye has crossed the coast.
Several hundred large size generator sets have been sent to the area.
ATM Hamilton Island is sustaining 140 kph wind with gusts over 180 kph.
Link to all weather sites Queensland.
http://www.bom.gov.au/qld/observations/qldall.sht ml
A clickable map which will take you to the particular weather station.
http://www.bom.gov.au/qld/observations/map.shtml
Quoting 46. weathermanwannabe:



Don't know about a loop but you are correct in terms of the latest radar frame below at 18:20 UTC (2:20 PM EST).....Landfall is not going to occur at 3:00 PM EST and it might be delayed by at least an hour; unless this storm just stalls out for a while.......Perhaps a good thing if the storm continues to weaken a bit before land fall.




Well... latest BOM update shows Debbie very near Bowen at noon Queensland time... that would be 2 a.m. UTC, if I'm not mistaken.

The flip side of an off-shore stall (with land fall causing erosion of the core circulation) is that the coastal areas adjacent to the core are going to be hammered with high winds, rains, and a longer period of storm surge; giving that wet band off-shore plenty of time to batter the coast......................Potential nightmare for the coast if the storm really slows down as pointed out by FMBill: that ridge that the storm was circling around might be weakening allowing the storm a quicker out towards the pole or the steering currents might be weakening. Hard to tell if its actually happening or just a big wobble on the way in as planned (albeit later than expected):






JeffMasters has created a new entry.
couple tornado warnings up already on the border between mississippi and tennessee. who knows what today will bring!

Lamar 's "hearings" we need a real time plan of attack. There thousands of us that can do this. We all know what is coming . A "show trial". If web has a volcanic of push back / then we might blunt the spear.

No doubt C-Span is the key . Go to work . These people are about to sign a death warrant for the Earth.

What ever your issue is, they all pale against this. If your water is poisoned, fighting for breast cancer pales.

If your gay, if your water is poisoned, your fight is over.
If you are poor , If your water is poisoned, your fight is over.
If you are framer. your fight is over.
If you are a city , if your water is poisoned, your fight is over.
Quoting 48. RobertWC:

NFL owners vote 31-1 to approve Raiders move to Las Vegas

Money, money, money .

The stadium in Vegas will need the largest air conditioner the world has ever seen.




I remember the good old days when they were in Oakland (and the Baltimore team was the famous and beloved Colts)
Get real, hysteria, and unfounded speculation is now what that the whole issue is now, isn't it? The debate is coming, the truth will be realized.