Throughout the week the hinterland’s weather was influenced by a ridge of high pressure extending from a slow moving high in the Tasman Sea.
Barometric pressure of around 1016hPa brought stable atmospheric conditions to the region. Northerly winds were light on the Ranges with maritime isolated showers, heavy at times. Always useful to have an umbrella handy!
This has been a week when everyone’s thoughts and prayers have been with those living in the path of the category 5 tropical cyclone. A major loss of life was averted by the state of readiness and the cyclone crossing the coast away from maximum population. Never-the-less, structural damage and loss of property was heavy.
For the record, the cyclone was born in the monsoonal trough with a low developing off Fiji, near Vanuatu on Saturday January 29, at a time when TC ‘Anthony’ menaced the north Queensland Coast.
On Sunday, the low increased in intensity and became a category one tropical cyclone named by the Fijian Meteorological Authorities as ‘Yasi’.
TC ‘Yasi’ entered into the Australian Bureau of Meteorology area of responsibility on Monday 31st January, and with winds increasing to 170km/h soon became a cyclone with a category three rating. The unknown factor was where it was going to make landfall? Some where between Cooktown and Mackay seemed most likely?
On the following day, TC ‘Yasi’ increased its movement toward the northeast coastline of Queensland with wind gusts soaring past 225km/h, now a category four tropical cyclone.
Wednesday Feb 2 began the day with ‘Yasi’ officially a category five system with wind gusts above 280km/h and capable of causing major destruction. At about midnight TC’Yasi’ made landfall near Mission Beach, avoiding areas of dense population, with wind gusts of 285km/h and a central pressure of 930hPa.