File this under shock and awe. Send best wishes to North Queensland.
Cyclone Yasi is now Category 4 Category 5, with windspeeds of 270 295 km per hour (185 miles/hr).
UPDATE #2: Yes, thousands are evacuating, or moving to higher ground. Extra flights and trains are taking people out. Hospital patients are being moved. People are boarding and taping up windows. Whole suburbs in danger of inundation are being evacuated. It’s about 12 hours to go.
I do a double take each time I see just how far Yasi reaches.
It reminds us of our relative power. It’s 3000 km (1620 nautical miles) from Melbourne to Cape York (roughly the most southerly point on continental Australia to the most northerly) . The full spread of the cloud formations connected to Yasi is a similar scale.
To give you some idea of just how expansive Yasi is, look at the size of it compared to the continental USA, and the UK just for scale.
Track it live on these pages
- Infra red satelite tracking images are here.
- Ground based radar for rainfall. (Click on Cairns, or Willis Island, then choose either 125 km, 256 km or 512 km radius).
- The cloud cover satelite images
- Forecast track map (projected future path).
- The current weather warnings for Yasi from the BOM
At 1:00 am EST Severe Tropical Cyclone Yasi, Category 4 was estimated to be 740 kilometres east northeast of Cairns and 750 kilometres northeast of Townsville moving west southwest at 30 kilometres per hour.
Queenslanders have had more than their fair share of weather. My thoughts are with those who right now, are just starting to see and feel the edges of this behemoth.
I hope there are no ships near the action.
Details of Severe Tropical Cyclone Yasi at 10:00 am EST: .Centre located near...... 16.4 degrees South 149.9 degrees East .Location accuracy........ within 30 kilometres .Recent movement.......... towards the west southwest at 30 kilometres per hour .Wind gusts near centre... 295 kilometres per hour .Severity category........ 5 .Central pressure......... 922 hectoPascals