TC Yasi reaches Category 5

TC Yasi

Our thoughts are with the people of Queensland as Cyclone Yasi approaches – a monster storm indeed.

Check out its progress at the Bureau page here.

For those still tempted to use the words “unprecedented” or biggest/worst “ever”, nothing helps more than a look at history:

Tropical cyclone Mahina hit on 4 March 1899. It was a Category 5 cyclone, the most powerful of the tropical cyclone severity categories. In addition, Mahina was perhaps one of the most intense cyclones ever observed in the Southern Hemisphere and almost certainly the most intense cyclone ever observed off the East Coast of Australia in living memory. Mahina was named by Government Meteorologist for Queensland Clement Wragge, a pioneer of naming such storms.

Within an hour, the Thursday Island based pearling fleet anchored in the bay or nearby, was either driven onto the shore or onto the Great Barrier Reef or sunk at their anchorages. Four schooners and the manned Channel Rock lightship were lost. A further two schooners were wrecked but later refloated. Of the luggers, 54 were lost and a further 12 were wrecked but refloated. Over 30 survivors of the wrecked vessels were later rescued from the shore however over 307 were killed, mostly immigrant non-European crew members.

A storm surge, variously reported as either 13 metres or 48 feet (14.6 meters) high, swept inland for about 5 kilometers, destroying anything that was left of the Bathurst Bay pearling fleet along with the settlement.

Eyewitness Constable J. M. Kenny reported that a 48 ft (14.6 m) storm surge swept over their camp at Barrow Point atop a 40 ft (12 m) high ridge and reached 3 miles (5 km) inland, the largest storm surge ever recorded. However Nott and Hayne reviewed the evidence for this. They modelled the surge based on the 914 hPa central pressure and found the surge should only have been 2 to 3m height. They also surveyed the area looking for wave cut scarps and deposits characteristic of storm events but found none higher than 5 m. Of the 48 ft surge they suggest the ground level cited may not be correct, or that terrestrial flooding was also involved. (source)


  1. Yeah, but cyclones happen because of AGW now.. they were all natural back in 1899.

  2. Jonova gives this link for amazing infra-red tracking images.

  3. Is someone in the media hyperventilating ?
    Cat 5 has maximum wind gusts of more than 280 km/hr
    Yasi has just passed over Willis Island and maximum gust was 185 km/hr.
    That makes it a Cat 3, but undeniably a very big one.

  4. Amending my previous – the measuring equipment was destroyed.
    I guess the final reading of 185 was just before the failure point.

  5. Incidentally, on WUWT:

    Simon at Australian Climate Madness notes this for rebuttal of the inevitable “Yasi caused by global warming” links that will be pushed on the blogs and by the press….

  6. Professor Jonathan Nott, from the Australasian Palaeohazards Research Unit at James Cook University, said: “We’ve been lulled into a false sense of security in Queensland because we’ve been through a fairly quiet time of cyclones since the 1970s.”

  7. Mervyn Sullivan says:

    Question: Why do the “Greens” always blame major weather events on man-made global warming?

    Answer: Because they haven’t got a bloody clue about climate science!

  8. “For those still tempted to use the words “unprecedented” or biggest/worst “ever”, nothing helps more than a look at history”

    Too late. Reuters decided on their narrative yesterday, and it’s been duly churned & regurgitated:

    This is how we get climate “facts” these days.

  9. Still looking for these “290 plus” winds they kept quoting on the news reports. Still nothing over 180 on shore and reef weather stations.

    • The Loaded Dog says:

      “Still looking for these “290 plus” winds they kept quoting on the news reports.”

      If the meejya can’t get their dose of “catastrophic reporting” they will be “devastated”. (Don’t you just love these fearsome words, catastrophic, devastating, worst in living memory….etc etc)

      They’ve just GOT to have that subliminal link to AGW.

    • 9 hours ago, @ABCMarkScott reported on Twitter:

      #TCYasi now crossing the coast at Mission Beach. Winds of 300 km/h #ABCNews24.
      Does anyone know where Our ABC got that wind speed of “300km/h” in Mission Beach from?

  10. Here’s hoping Yasi petered out in time to spare the Ravenshoe wind farm just west of Innisfail. Those toys don’t take kindly to the odd windstorm.

  11. rukidding says:

    Thankfully it does not seem to be as bad as was expected.

  12. Anyone noticed that the Government’s Global Warming Stooge, Ross Garnaut this afternoon has now intentionally politicised TC Yasi saying in his official report “You ain’t seen nothing yet” – or to that effect. Incredible.

    I’m sure it will be in the papers tomorrow (4 Feb) and the AGW cheerleaders the ABC and Fairfax Media will be milking it for all its worth, as well as the usual history-deniers in the Greens and the blogosphere.

    A blatant (almost brazen) politicization and manipulation of science to push Government agenda – which in this case is the re-introduction of carbon tax/ETS into the parliament when it resumes shortly.

    Garnaut has stooped to a new low this time around. This stinks.


  1. […] at Australian Climate Madness notes this for rebuttal of the inevitable “Yasi caused by global warming” links that […]

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