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Watching Cyclone Ita – Category One (was Five yesterday) over Queensland

UPDATE Sat morning: Thank goodness this has slowed dramatically. Now Cat 1 at 120 km/hr. 990hPa. While some have lost homes, there don’t seem to be any lives lost, though rainfall and storm surges mean the situation is still dangerous.  Courier Mail appears to have the best live coverage.

About midnight, last night Queensland time, Cyclone Ita crossed the coast. (Roughly about now). Hopefully it will pass through a less developed region. It potentially could be disastrous. We hope not. It is about 500km across (?) while Cyclone Yasi was 600km wide.  Winds were nearly 300km per hour but have slowed to 265km/h  205km/h. One meteorologist predicts it to slow to Category Four as it makes landfall. [He was so right, it's now a Cat 3]. Other reports say there’s no sign of that.

Cyclone Ita is currently Category 5 Category 4 Category 1 bearing down on the region around Cooktown and Cairns in North Queensland.

Spare a thought for those in the path. We hope everyone can stay safe.

The Courier Mail today:

The “great unknown’’ is the devastating havoc that 300km/h winds will wreak on top of a 2m-high storm surge, 10m-high waves, a high tide and flash flooding predicted in the Endeavour River.”

The last and only cyclone of this extremely destructive force was Cyclone Mahina in 1899 when a 14.6m tsunami swept 5km inland as it made landfall in almost the same predicted track of Cyclone Ita near Cape Melville.”

Port Douglass is “expected to receive 600mm of rain over the next 48 hours.”

News On Twitter via #TCIta

Cooktown Emergency Shelter locked down 1 hour ago.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 9.4/10 (31 votes cast)
Watching Cyclone Ita - Category One (was Five yesterday) over Queensland, 9.4 out of 10 based on 31 ratings

Tiny Url for this post: http://tinyurl.com/qdbplq2

64 comments to Watching Cyclone Ita – Category One (was Five yesterday) over Queensland

  • #
    scaper...

    That area should have been evacuated and I fear lives will be lost.

    It will cut a swathe through the vegetation but nature is very good at healing the damage.

    22

  • #

    Before Cyclone Yasi, the owner of the site I contribute at heard about it, and was intrigued, mainly because of the size of the images shown on News Bulletins in the U.S.

    He asked me if I would do a Post on it, mainly explaining that they are called Cyclones here, and Hurricanes in the U.S. and Typhoons North of the Equator in Southern Asia.

    He also wanted some insight into the opposite rotation. It seemed that not many Americans were aware of anything other than Hurricanes, (naturally I suppose) and the word Cyclone intrigued him.

    So, for a period of three days, I live blogged Cyclone Yasi, adding the original Post, and then UPDATES, every six hours or so, ten UPDATES in all.

    I’ll include the link to the Post if anyone wants to actually read it, but part way down, I included a really cool image. I saved the screen print from the BOM weather radar, centred on Cairns setting 128KM, converted it to a jpg image I could use. with an image program (Adobe PhotoDeluxe Business Edition 1) and then posted it to the site.

    That image showed the actual eye of the Cyclone just as it crossed the Coast.

    This is the link to that image

    While the image looks like a lot of colour indicating areas and strengths of rainfall, you can see the distinct eye at the bottom of the image directly over Bingil Bay, where the Cyclone crossed at the town of Mission Beach. There’s the time stamp as well, right on midnight local time. (1400UTC)

    Here’s the link to the Main Post.

    Super Cyclone Yasi Heads For Queensland With UPDATES

    The most recent UPDATE is at the top of the Post, so the original is scrolled right at the bottom of the Post.

    Tony.

    92

    • #
      PhilJourdan

      Thanks Tony. Not all of us Americans are ignorant of the storms down under, but the press sure seems to be. Nary a peep out of them. I guess since you do not live in straw huts like the Philippines, there is no AGW meme in the news.

      40

  • #
    Truthseeker

    It seems to be currently centred over Lizard Island, about 250 km away from Cairns. Since it is about 500 kms across that means that the edges are affecting Cairns surrounds. The radar is showing that the rain is fairly light, but it does not show the wind in any direct fashion.

    20

    • #

      I wrote 500km (?) because the ABC site said it was 500km across, but on the other hand the BOM warnings page says:

      SEVERE TROPICAL CYCLONE ITA, CATEGORY 5, poses a serious threat to communities along the far north Queensland coast. It is expected to continue to move in a general south-southwest direction and make landfall between Cape Melville and Cooktown this evening or tonight as a CATEGORY 5 Tropical Cyclone with VERY DESTRUCTIVE WINDS to 300 kilometres per hour near the core and GALES extending
      out to 185 kilometres from the centre.

      So beyond 185km from the centre the winds are below Gale level?

      This suggests to me that it is more like 370km across not 500. Though I suppose the monster rainfall and tidal surges can occur outside this area? It’s a little hard to know where the edge of a cyclone is exactly.

      100

      • #
        scaper...

        The cyclone tracker indicates the width but no scale on the map.

        30

      • #

        This is the MTSAT IR Colorized Loop for the current Cyclone Ita.

        The only way of telling is the DTG at the bottom left of the main screen.

        This is a colorized (sorry, U.S. spelling here) display of the Cyclone and includes the most recent 8 images.

        There’s a menu at the top of the image if you wish to do the things there.

        MTSAT IR Colorized Loop Cyclone Ita

        Tony.

        70

      • #
        Truthseeker

        What? The ABC exaggerating a weather event! Say it isn’t so …

        70

      • #
        PhilJourdan

        They measure these storms 2 ways. Most meteorologists measure it the way the BOM appears to be. Gale winds across.

        But many other measure the cloud bands across. That was what got all of the alarmists in a snicker about Sandy. The cloud bands were very wide, even though the Gale winds were not that far.

        60

  • #
    Safetyguy66

    Scary stuff. I have been through 2 cyclones in Exmouth WA in the late 70s. I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone.

    On the bright side I was a big collector of seashells at the time and the beach combing for a week afterwards was amazing.

    I hope no one is hurt and the damage is minimal for the unfortunate folks in this ones path.

    50

    • #
      David

      S66 I couldn’t agree more. Some 20 plus years ago I was bringing a 40 foot yacht from Launceston, Tasmania to Melbourne and caught out by Storm Force winds [48 - 55 knots or if you prefer 89 to 102 km/h]crossing Bass Strait. An unexpected convergence of two low pressure centres. Not an experience I would care ever to repeat. I cannot begin to imagine what winds over twice that strength are like and feel for anyone caught at sea by Ita. If there are no atheists in a weapons pit that equally applies to sailors on small boats in Storm Force winds.

      50

  • #
    Spoils

    Terror, terror. Is BOM telling whoppers again? Keep a close eye on them. 10 to 1 it will have gone from a 5 to a 4 to a 3 and even possibly lower BEFORE it crosses the coast (time 5:30 pm EST).

    Did anybody watch the last charade a few weeks ago around the gulf etc with BOM talking up rain depressions? Look at the rainfall forecasts and the rain radars. Today. Even the drop from 5 to 4 is very unfair on those local people.

    151

    • #

      Latest BoM track:
      http://www.bom.gov.au/products/IDQ65002.shtml
      The low that eventuates tracked to go over our place early Sunday.
      Current composite radar:
      http://www.bom.gov.au/products/national_radar_sat.loop.shtml
      Yes, I suspected BoM whoppers, but not this time. The eye was clearly visible earlier, but I had a feeling that this might start to diminish a bit before landfall. Not enough heat.
      Meteye:
      http://www.bom.gov.au/australia/meteye/
      With sea surface temperature turned on, “Updated 11 Apr 2014, 2:58 PM AEDT” in the vicinity of Cape Flattery is 28 – 30. Shore line here (15km north of Townsville) 26 – 28? Don’t think so. These are supposed to be based on observations, but it wasn’t anywhere near that at 3pm.

      40

      • #

        256 km Cairns Radar Loop: turn on Weather observations:
        http://www.bom.gov.au/products/IDR192.loop.shtml#skip
        Wind speed Cape Flattery 89 km/h at 7:45pm AEST. Presumably calculated, but getting up a bit.
        We’ll know it’s getting serious when the readings disappear, because of equipment failure or being turned off to prevent damage.

        50

      • #
        Spoils

        Well, good luck on Sunday morning, Martin. I’ll be thinking of you.

        20

        • #

          Looks like we’ll be ok – just a bit wet :-)
          Reported wind speed at Cape Flattery went up to 106, now back to 69, Cooktown now showing 48, Low Isles Lighthouse 52 … in other words, what’s recorded on BoM radar is not accurate.
          Cooktown is apparently copping 125km/h currently. Most post ’85 structures should be able to handle 200km/h.

          50

    • #
      Bulldust

      Had a mate gaming (logged out now) living in northern QLD. He said it was already down to a 4. Predicted to be a 2 by tomorrow afternoon.

      Yup just checked BoM – it’s a 4.

      40

    • #
      Robert JM

      The 1km vis sat at Ita’s Peak looked just like Cat 5 normally do. It is also typical for cyclones to loose a bit of intensity due to land interaction and shallow ocean as they come ashore. I’m not quite sure what your on about?
      There is no need for conspiracy theories on the handling of weather by the bom, It’s their climate section you have to worry about!

      31

    • #
      Streetcred

      I started to track this thing once the catasrophists cranked up … for the life of me I could not reconcile the impending doom with the cool ocean and land temperatures; where was the energy coming from to drive the beast? I said to my wife yesterday afternoon that it would peter out quick smart and devolve into a rain depression. Now, where do I sign up at BoM for the cyclone forecaster position?

      10

  • #
    DARREL

    Ilive in Townsville it started to rain heavy about 5pm winds are not strong
    but pickup. give you some idear about size of storm

    30

  • #
    Peter Miller

    Presumably we can soon expect the usual cacophony of alarmist comments confusing extreme weather with ‘climate change’.

    20

  • #

    No sign of severe weather in Hervey Bay. We might catch the tail end.

    20

  • #
    MadJak

    Awww bloody ‘ell,

    Firs they scream there’s not enuf rain ‘coz of the polar bears farting.

    Then they scream there’s too much rain coming

    How on earth can my feeble malleable mind cope with all this change in the climate?

    41

  • #

    My thoughts for those in its path.

    And my thoughts for those who have to listen to or read the alarmism that is sure to follow in its wake.

    Cheers

    90

  • #
    gnome

    By any standard, Cooktown is one of the most beautiful places in Australia, with some truly magnificent old buildings on and near the waterfront.

    I just hope the predictions are wrong, and the Cooktown we see today is the Cooktown we see in the future. It would be a tragedy if it were to lose some of its character.

    (I haven’t been there for a couple of years, did they ever build that wind farm at Archer Point? I sure hope they did!)

    40

  • #
  • #
  • #
    Ceetee

    Hope all get through this OK. As someone who has first hand experience of what nature can do I have a lot of sympathy with the people in the path of that cyclone. My thoughts are with them. The strength of their community will come to the fore and carry them through as it did with us.

    30

  • #
    handjive

    Spare a thought for those in the path. We hope everyone can stay safe.”

    Here is someone that doesn’t:

    Part of being a science communicator is hoping a natural disaster kills as many members of the audience as possible, as soon as possible, with as much media exposure as possible. As a communicator myself, I’d like nothing better than if thousands of middle-class white people died in an extreme weather event—preferably one with global warming’s fingerprints on it. Live on cable news, tomorrow.

    The hardest thing about communicating the deadliness of the climate problem is that it isn’t killing anyone.

    Cognitive scientist C. R. R. Kampen thinks the annihilation of a city of 150,000 people could provide just the teaching moment we need:
    “You see, consensus is so often only reached after a painful confrontation with evidence.

    Knowing this, I hope against knowledge of her expected track that Cyclone Ita will wipe Cairns off the map.
    Because the sooner the lesson is learnt by early confrontation, the better one more population will be suited to anticipate and mitigate the vast weather and climate (+ related) disasters that lie in the immediate future and to lose all distractions on the way.

    (It is recommended you read the complete quote to avoid ‘cherrypick’, as space permits here)
    . . .
    Of course, if anyone claims cyclone Ita is evidence of Global Warming, just point out that it is also evidence a carbon(sic) tax does not stop Global Warming.

    61

  • #
    TdeF

    Air conditioning made the tropics liveable. Now people are retiring to areas which are known to be cyclone prone. Florida has 15 hurricanes a year, each a replay of the last and the reporting get monotonous. If you live in Florida, the only question is when you are hit, not if.

    The implications for our perception of the climate is that we have instant reporting of disasters, even enthusiastic reporting and from areas where previously no one lived. The investment in holiday resorts can mean billions of dollars in damage, damage we have never seen before as the area without jet travel and airconditioning was never a holiday area and without the infrastructure never a retirement area.

    So we will see any damage added to the ongoing story of disastrous climate change, whether a mudslide in Colombia or a dam breaking in China or a monsoon surge in the Bay of Bengal or amazingly even a gumtree bushfire in Australia or California or Greece. What we do see is instant reporting of any calamity anywhere in the world and a world where population pressures and wealth and technology more and more people live in dangerous climates. However we can be assured that as long as we pay a Carbon tax, everything will be fine. Al Gore is watching over us. Counting his money.

    101

    • #
      TdeF

      It is pleasing that the people of FNQ have escaped a real hammering. The slant of the reporting though is still sensationalist but I have been watching wind speeds on the BOM site through the night and they have been very low, say as much as 57km per hour and often much less. Gust speeds are being quoted and one mention this morning is the 28mm of rain received at the Cairns racecourse. For an area with massive rainfall, this is normal stuff.

      So the great news is that the BOM were wrong and the media wrong. The cyclone weakened greatly before it hit land and now it is turning into a regular storm, downgraded to level 2. The BOM is now explaining that they knew this all along because of the ‘double walled’ nature of the storm.

      My connection to Global Warming is not a lack of sympathy for those in the path of a terrible cyclone, but the sensationalist nature of the reporting the Armageddon and Apocolyptical stories which have been written are, mercifully wrong. Do we really need this sort of misreporting, to turn natural events, even regular events into disasters. A collection of headlines from the last two days have been amazing.

      I have drawn the obvious inference that this short term event, over in a few days, is not dissimilar to the reporting on the climate both by the media and by the BOM. Welcome to the world of selling news by painting the blackest picture possible so that even if the event does not turn into a disaster, the work has been done by scaring people massively. I was particularly distressed and angered by the reporting of bushfires, where the reporting was almost ghoulish and filled with anticipation of disaster. At what point do the media stop reporting the news and start manufacturing it?

      41

      • #
        JenJ

        The media doesn’t give a hoot about “the nwes”. They just want entertainmwent. And nothing is more entertaining than other people’s misfortune. If you’re a $#@%, that is.

        11

  • #
    A C Osborn

    Interesting that the Nullschool graphics show wind speeds up to 125kh, nowhere near the 265kh originally reported. From watching Nullschool wind representations around the UK & USA the wind speeds have been pretty accurate.
    So what is the truth, does anyone have any weather station readings?

    40

    • #

      Nullschool wind speeds do seem to be more accurate, eg leading edge inner winds around 34-35m/s ( x 3.6 = 125km/h). In situations like this, weather station equipment is best shut down, and wind speeds all tend to be estimated. Accurate figures will be available later, calculated from items like bent-over traffic signs. I have managed to hang onto an anemometer at 100km/h but only just.
      I estimated the strength of Yasi (some 200km south of landfall) at 200km/h, based on the deflection on an N4 (cyclone rated) glass window, using a rough gauge rigged up with balsa wood.

      30

  • #
    Richard Ilfeld

    As a frequent Florida evacuee, a note on the storms.
    The alarmists and idiots freak out over the winds. You may generally ignore them. The straight line winds do some damage, and can be pretty awful in a cat 5, but the fear of hurricane/cyclone vets is, first, tornadic activity along the eye wall and associates fronts, and second, the storm surge. The winds eat shingles and tree limbs, the storms surge eats houses. Florida suffers few deaths, as we have experienced folks guiding prep and response. Hope you all come through safe as well.

    70

  • #
    Andrew McRae

    Someone in Cairns has a camera looking out their window and is live on UStream.
    http://www.ustream.tv/channel/cyclone-ita-bungalow-cairns-qld
    It currently (11:12pm) shows the palm trees are waving slightly but basically nothing happening in Cairns yet.
    They say they will start the stream again in the morning at first light.
    A search on UStream for “Ita” may find more tomorrow.

    Anyhow, Ita has now crossed the coast by the looks of the BOM satellite pictures.

    10

  • #
    Rick Bradford

    I cowered in a Cairns hotel during Cyclone Larry and thought it wasn’t too bad.

    That was until I went to the towns in the direct path (about 100 kilometres south) such as Innisfail, which was devastated, and continued to be devastated 18 months later because the bl**dy insurance companies dragged every foot they could before shelling out as little as they could and raising every possible objection (“it isn’t economically viable to restore this building” was a common corporate position.)

    It was just as bad in the Tablelands, property owners trying to make their places livable and their businesses functional over a year after the event, and being constantly blanked by the corporate greedheads.

    They’d have got better support in the Philippines — being Australia we can’t claim extreme emergency and attract emergency international funding.

    The classic FNQ response I saw was in a historic pub called the Garradunga Hotel, situated on a gravel road about 15kms north of Innisfail. Nearly 2 years after Larry, half the roof was still off, there were electric cables snaking all over the place and bare plasterboard, but you could still get a cold beer and a conversation. They knew that no **** was going to help them, so they just got on with what they had and what they could put together.

    Better luck this time, guys.

    60

  • #
    Roy Hogue

    Whether it’s a hurricane in the Atlantic or a typhoon in the Pacific, simply thinking about going through such a storm is frightening to a guy like me whose worst weather experience is heavy rain and flooded streets, a little snow — from which I could thankfully escape after about 2 1/2 years in Massachusetts — or some heavy fog on the freeway. There aren’t even tornadoes in this part of the country.

    It appears that this one has settled down a little. But I hope everyone affected by it comes through without harm.

    20

    • #
      PhilJourdan

      I have been through several, but none stronger than a Cat 3. It is a bit scary, and also awe inspiring. The awe comes after the fact when you walk away from it.

      I have learned to respect them. But not to fear them. As someone else noted, the worst part are the tornadoes that come with them. Fortunately they are not as widespread as the Hurricane itself.

      I am praying for everyone in the path of Ita to be safe. Tomorrow, they will have some interesting stories to tell others, and their grandkids. Now they just need to stay smart and stay safe.

      40

      • #
        Roy Hogue

        Phil,

        I guess experience helps with attitude about danger. I’ve been through some big earthquakes and I’ve no great fear of them. For one thing, even in the worst of them, with most of a million people at risk in the ’94 Northridge quake, the actual death toll was about 60. And it’s similar for all the quakes I’ve any knowledge of. The death and injury toll is very low and way out of proportion to the perceived danger. Property damage wasn’t even what you would expect, thanks in large measure to construction standards that have learned from past history with Earthquakes. But of course if you’re the one it gets, then it’s an unimaginable tragedy.

        The scary thing about hurricanes or tornadoes is the widespread nature of the damage they can cause. When a whole town — Joplin Missouri is a recent example — can be leveled in a few minutes… …I don’t want to be around.

        I hope it all amounts to no more than a little inconvenience and some stories to tell the grand kids.

        00

        • #
          PhilJourdan

          Roy,

          I have had the (mis?) fortune of “surviving” several earthquakes as well. Enough to rattle your teeth, but as you noted not a lot of damage or death. In the USA.

          The USA is not perfect as evidenced by the World Series Quake (89) and the San Fernando 71 (I actually got to ride that one out), but loss of life is usually counted in 10s, rarely hundreds, and almost never in thousands (today). But we do seem to learn from history and our building codes reflect it. That is not true in most of the world (not sure how many quakes hit Oz, but they do seem to know how to deal with Tropical Cyclones)

          It really is all about knowing what to do, and being prepared. There is no warning for an Earthquake, but living in sod houses with no support is not preparation. The same with Hurricanes. At least we have warning.

          So I do not fear any of them. Tornadoes are almost like Earthquakes today in warning time. So living in a prefab in Tornado alley is not being prepared. Joplins happen. But even then, there was more destruction than death. People are prepared.

          And afterwards it makes great stories. The 10 days without electricity. The fact that neighbors go out after the storm to cut up trees blocking roads – on their own. Your mother driving in a VW during an Earthquake (that one is actually hysterical – today).

          Very few deaths, but lots of stories.

          00

  • #
    Orang Putih

    It will probably leave in its trail several million dollars worth of improvements.

    02

  • #
    Robert O

    It rained a lot overnight in Cairns and a bit windy but not too bad so far and is tracking inland and lessening, but plenty of rain and still pretty windy.

    20

  • #
    Peter C

    According to The Age this morning ” TREES TO TOPPLE ANS SOLAR CELLS TO BE SUCKED FROM ROOFS”.

    Highest wind speed I found was Cape Flattery at 21:30 last night, gust of 159km/hr. No data from Cape Flattery after 22:00.

    20

    • #
      Peter C

      Checking on the Cape Flattery observations:
      http://www.bom.gov.au/products/IDQ60801/IDQ60801.94188.shtml
      We see that the maximum sustained wind speeds recorded were 106km/hr from 22:30. That would make Cyclone Ita a Category 2 cyclone ( according to the BOM definition – which is has a slightly less wind speed requirement than other definitions) at the time it hit the coast.

      Cape Flattery Met site has been not been reporting since 22:00 on 11/04/2014, which makes me suspect that it was damaged at that time.

      00

  • #
    Hasbeen

    As with their global warming scares, the bureau today can’t help them selves, they have to exaggerate everything to a disaster.

    I was getting quite irate at the fool TV stations. They send a couple of fool girls, a surf reporter, & one anchor man into the north, & hyperbole follows.

    Cooktown was supposed to be 2 meters under this morning, well, what had not been blown up to Cape York that is. The “authorities” will wonder next time we get a bad one, why no one listens to the warnings.

    My last cyclone was in 86, in the Whitsundays. I was responsible for 10 boats, about 25 crew, & as I had sent their men off with the boats, 5 families. Here is my day.

    5.00 AM the BOM advised the thing was 48 hours away. South Mole Island was low on fuel for their powerhouse, so I therefor authorized a fuel delivery from Mackay. It is a nice morning

    7.00 AM the loaded barge sails to South Mole, & starts pumping fuel ashore, & unloading stores. All cruise operations are cancelled.

    8.00 AM our 60FT ferry takes house gests who want off South Mole to Shute Harbor, [mainland]. I am asked to do another ferry run for South Mole & Daydream islands at midday.

    9.00 AM, BOM advises we only have 30 hours before the thing arrives. The ferry returns to South Mole with some critical staff. I send the 2 big cats, 3 other boats & 10 crew off to our cyclone bolt hole. I discover later one hostess & one crew girlfriend are on board, not wanting to be alone at home.

    10.00 AM the wind is up & gusting to 40 knots. The island engineer confirms enough fuel is ashore, & I send the barge off to the bolt hole. BOM corrects ETA of cyclone to 20 hours. I advise both islands the last ferry run will depart South mole at 11.00 AM.

    11.00 I jump on ferry, & with a dozen or so nervous looking house guests, head fort Shute Harbor. Daydream advises it is too rough at their jetty to pick up guests.

    11.05 AM, Whitsunday Rent a Yacht request help for a couple of their yachts, just west of North Mole, unable to make headway in the wind & sea. This is a worry. Taking boats with inexperienced crew in tow often leads to disaster.

    11. 20 AM, the rent boat people were quite competent, both in tow for Shute Harbor, but only at about 5 knots. We stay close under the lea of South mole’s western shore, where the sea is smaller, then turn & run for Shute.

    11.30 AM. BOM correct ETA cyclone to 6.00 PM. The barge skipper calls to say he has lost one engine, & can’t make headway, can I come & get him. Well no I can’t with these yachts. I tell him to head for Muddy Bay at Airlie Beach, where he will be out of the sea, if not the wind, & should be able to make headway.

    I’m getting late to help my crews families, so radio for the office staff to pick them up, & take then to a safe house.

    12.50 Barge crew advise from the office radio they picked up a Muddy Day mooring around the one prop that was still going. Thus tethering the thing by the prop. They had dropped the anchor & a heap of chain & abandoned the thing.

    2.00 PM, Wind is something over 50 knots. Enter Shute Harbor, & spend some time time getting rid of the 2 yachts.

    2.25 PM, just as we are tying the ferry to the jetty, the surface of the whole harbor starts to smoke. It takes something like 80 knots to cause that.

    2.40 PM, the wind has swung to the north west, from south east, & dropped to about 40Knots.

    3.00 PM, drive back to Airlie beach, sun out, wind down to about 10 knots.

    4.00 PM swear a solemn oath, to never pay any attention to anything out of the BOM ever again.

    40

    • #

      It’s a difficult thing to say here, because it sounds like complaining for the sake of complaining, but I think that the ABC is becoming the epitome of the boy who cried wolf.

      Every report for this Cyclone was hyped to the absolute worst case scenario, and I can understand that, because even if it isn’t the ABC can then come back and say ….. “well, at least we told you”, and something like that is probably a direction from senior management to make the warnings sound as bad as is possible.

      I lost count of the number of times that the talking heads in the studio went over the top. I mean, directly following reports of some wind gusts around 80KPH and some as high as 95KPH, in other words, what the wind was actually blowing at, they then parrotted that this Cat 5,4,3 Cyclone has winds of 200KPH and up to 280KPH, and they even got to the point of leaving off the per hour thing when reading the speed. You can tell they’re reading from the autocue, even though they try to be as professional as possible.

      It seems to me that they actually want a horrendous disaster, and hey, It’s not just the ABC. They all did it.

      I surmise that the BOM especially got the word a few Cyclones back that perhaps they weren’t making it as bad as it could be, and that (if legally liable) there could be consequences if they, umm, made it out to be not as bad as it could be, with not enough stern warnings, so they just always quote worst case. It’s almost like they quote from, need I say it, a model.

      From that, the ABC followed along, telling the absolute worst case scenario, and again, I can also understand that, but the need to rush talking heads and camera crews directly to where the action is has become almost mandatory these days. The SES and authorities all tell everyone in serious voices to take cover, and the media just seem to ignore that, with reporters in every place.

      It’s almost a case of we want to be first on the spot when the disaster turns to an outright disaster, and when it doesn’t eventuate, they beat it up to make it into a disaster.

      I know this is a bit of a rant, but it’s become so obvious now.

      Surely it’s going to end up exactly like the boy who cried wolf.

      Tony.

      51

  • #
    scaper...

    Still waiting for the usual suspects blaming the cyclone on global warming.

    Maybe on Monday to get the most exposure?

    10

  • #
    Dave

    And then you get these nutjobs on the internet with this quote:

    Packing winds of 295km/h, Ita is now one of the most powerful weather systems to ever threaten Australia – the strongest ever in Queensland.

    Read it here at
    Zackery Jones from Sydney, Australia, I’m the Online Producer for the Australian News Network (ANN) & Fibre News. As well as the North American Correspondent for The Global Panorama. I’m also a Freelance Journalist.

    The strongest EVER, EVER and EVER.

    This sort of garbage should be shut down

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      Hasbeen

      They really are a joke.

      After Ada went through the Whitsundays, rated as a 4, on Long Island, & many others, the trees were totally bare. Not a leaf to be seen anywhere.

      Cooktown’s flora looks like it had a mild Sydney southerly buster, or Brisbane spring thunderstorm pass through.

      I do not want to downgrade the cost in worry & money to those who were affected, but these fool alarmists really get my goat.

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        scaper...

        I was on Long Island (Happy Bay) and we returned to Sydney a day before Ada hit.

        Didn’t Daydream Island get flattened?

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    Andrew

    Glad they got away with this one – reports I saw thankfully have no reported deaths as well as the dramatic reduction in wind speeds. Seems to have been a very quiet summer for natural disasters all round in fact.

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    @Dave & Tony,
    Yep this is getting a bit loopy. Ok it looked bad for a while, and then turned into a fizzer.
    Given Cooktown last had a decent cyclone in 1949(?), there was a good chance of problems due to inadequate codes and maintenance. I have been looking at some of the images. Some roofs ripped off, with sheets still attached to battens and rafters. What I don’t see is any evidence that the latter were attached to wall top plates with brackets or strapping. Even at 125-130km/hr, it could have been a lot worse.
    Maintaining the Cat 1 status down the coast is looking a bit odd. I just walked over to the beach at Bushland Beach one hour after high tide (which was normal judging by the debris line). Airflow was from NE so there is still some rotation. Hand-held anemometer mostly showing <1m/s, occasionally sustaining 3m/s = 10.8km/hr. That's the sort of reading you would expect if you walk fast. I'll go back in the morning when whatever it is, is expected to be overhead.

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    redress

    Jo…

    look at this wesite which records TC Ita’s evolution……

    http://www.gdacs.org/Cyclones/report.aspx?eventid=44373&episodeid=4&eventtype=TC

    On this site “The information on storm characteristics is taken from a web service provided by the Pacific Disaster Center, which processes the official advisory bulletins.”

    Now Australia uses the Australian tropical cyclone intensity scale, which measures tropical cyclones using a six category system based on 10-minute maximum sustained winds..
    Tropical Low: Sustained wind 63 km/h ….Strongest gust less than 91km/h
    Category 1: Sustained wind 63-88 km/h….Strongest gust less than 125 km/h
    Category 2: Sustained wind 89-117 km/h…Strongest gust 125 – 164 km/h
    Category 3: Sustained wind 118-159 km/h..Strongest gust 165 – 224 km/h
    Category 4: Sustained Wind 160-200 km/h..Strongest gust 225 – 279 km/h
    Category 5: Sustained wind greater than >200 km/h…Strongest gust More than 279 km/h

    The United States uses the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale.
    Tropical storm, 39–73 mph….. 63–118 km/h
    Level 1, 74-95 mph….. 120 – 152km/h
    Level 2, 96-110 mph…. 154 – 177km/h
    Level 3, 111-130 mph… 178 – 209km/h
    Level 4, 131-155 mph… 210 – 249km/h
    Level 5, 156 mph……. 251km/h

    On the 4/10/2014 6:00:00 PM GDACS had Ita a Category 4 with a Wind speed of 249 km/h (155 mph) and Wind gusts of 306 km/h (189 mph)…..it is difficult to tell which system GDACS is using.

    The BoM on the same day at 7pm had Ita classified Category 5.

    GDACS currently has Ita as a tropical storm, while the BoM is classifying Ita as a category 1 cyclone.

    It seems to me that the BoM are persistently aiming for the higher classification, and GDACS because they are using a number of sources are more “balanced”

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    janama

    2am your time, 2GB weather report is still suggesting winds of 125km yet Weatherzone Pro says 6km/hr in Innisfail and 35km/hr in Cairns.
    who is feeding these news reports?

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    @redress & janama,
    BoM are pushing the classification up a touch. It’s a tropical low. At present (6:30 AEST) I have wind direction SE, sustained around 39km/h, gusts 50, some attenuation as I’m not willing to go beyond the front yard just yet. It’s sitting more or less dead centre on Halifax Bay eg on top of us. Townsville Aero (10km to SE) reporting 50 sustained 70 gusts, 999.8 hPa. A slight intensification since 5:30.

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      At 8:30 the thing was a bit ahead of BoM – nearer to Maggie Island. High tide normal, gusts not exceeding 50kmh. Rain lessening. Time to start clearing up, but there’s not much mess.

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    pat

    I live at Cape Flattery, we live on a 2000ac property surrounded by rain forest, I believe we were in the eye of the storm. Not sure what Cat it was, because it is not heavlly populated no one seems to care. The winds were strong enough to not only strip the trees of their leaves, but to uproot and snap them. It looks like someone has gone through with a giant Wipper-snipper. Every tree seems to be snapped off at about 3 to 4 mts above ground level. The place is a mess, walking through the rainforest is now impossible. Now every one talks about Cooktown, Cairns etc, the cyclone did not hit these places. It hit places like Cape Flattery, Starcey, Mcivory River, these places are not heavlly populated but people do live there and yes we do need assistance and yes we are not getting any. This was a huge cyclone. Before stating it was a fizzer take a look past Cooktown past Hopevale. Like I said big trees snapped like twigs, not one tree but over 90percent of the rainforrest gone. So before posting how wrong BOM and the ABC were take a look were the cyclone hit. Dont look at Cooktown, Hopevale.
    [Edited, to correct for "Phone-finger" errors -Fly]

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