Along the Pentland Road, 25 May 2017

Friday, 18 December 2009

Hurricane update - 18 December

The Southern Hemisphere season is in full swing and throwing up quite a few surprises. Over the past few days, tropical cyclone Laurence made landfall in Western Australia, north of the town of Derby, and was given up for dead by the Joint Typhoon Warning Center in Honolulu. The Bureau of Meteorology in Perth, Australia, disagreed, and continued to issue warnings as Laurence, although greatly weakened, continued to track south, and veered west this morning, headed back for the coast. JTWC promptly resumed warnings this afternoon (GMT). Something tells me that this cyclone could have a nasty reincarnation. Current predictions show it at 75 knots, equivalent to a category I hurricane, upon making landfall near the town of Port Hedland after the weekend. Port Hedland is no stranger to tropical cyclones: in 2007, TC George came along and caused a fair bit of damage. One person was killed, whilst sheltering in accommodation that was not cyclone proof. It was provided by the local mining company.

A few days ago, tropical cyclone Mick passed directly over Fiji and took two lives. This system has now disappeared from the weather charts. Over in the Indian Ocean, tropical cyclone 05S no longer meets the criteria for a cyclone, but appears to be brewing up again southwest of Diego Garcia. I don't like the look of the satellite image, which appears to show a system that is building up strength. I'm no meteorologist, but after 3 years of tracking these phenomena, I recognise the signs from the imagery.

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