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Tropical Cyclone Yasi Final

Tropical Cyclone YasiPosition: 17.5S 146.8E [ 6 PM CST 0000 UTC 10AM AEST].
Movement: West-Southwest [240°] near 23 mph [37 kph].
Maximum sustained winds: 70 mph [110 kph].
Wind Gusts: 85 mph [140 kph].
Tropical Storm Wind Radius: 255 miles [405 km].
Minimum central pressure: 980 mb ↑.

Currently inland about 230 miles [ 370 km] Southwest of Cairns, Australia.

A Cyclone Warning is current for coastal and island communities from Cardwell to Ayr, extending west across the tropical interior to the Northern Territory border, including Mt Isa and Longreach.

The storm has weakened to a Saffir-Simpson Tropical Storm / Australian Category 2 Cyclone and will probably be a low pressure area by the time it reaches the border with the Northern Territory.

Tully, Mission Beach, Silkwood, Innisfail, and Cardwell got the worst of it when Yasi came ashore.  The ABC’s Yasi Live Blog has pictures from some of the areas, and they got stomped. There are no reports of fatalities currently, but there hasn’t been much time to do the search and rescue, especially in the rural areas. This was a huge storm and it cut a wide path across northern Queensland.

In addition to all of the trees that were pushed over by the wind, more trees will die in the next couple of years due to the defoliation by the wind, and the salt spray that was carried inland.

It will be a long time before things will get back to normal, especially with power out to a couple of hundred thousand people, and trees and utility poles across the roads.

Update: Oh, yes, as if the news wasn’t “sour” enough: Bananas, sugar to skyrocket after Yasi

Almost all Australia’s bananas are grown in the path of the storm, and about one third of the country’s sugar cane.

Cane sugar is used for ethanol as well as cookies in Australia, so fuel prices will go up too.

February 2, 2011   Comments Off on Tropical Cyclone Yasi Final

Egypt Phase 2

Dr. Cole has a nice explainer, Mubarak’s Basij, on what happened in Egypt today – the Ministry of Interior sent in its people thinly disguised as pro-Mubarak demonstrators to inspire fear.

Everyone knows this, even CNN, so that was a failure.

At this point Mubarak is probably not making the decisions. This was probably directed by the leaders of the Egyptian military. It would appear that they had no problem with sacrificing Mubarak, but they want an officer in charge. They have probably decided to make Suleiman the new President, and they don’t want civilians to interfere with their plans.

I think the military has seriously misinterpreted the situation. I can’t see the protesters settling for another military dictator [Mubarak was the head of the Egyptian Air Force before becoming Vice President under Sadat]. The military made a lot of friends among the people by not using force against the protesters, but they will lose if they decide to pull a “bait-and-switch” now, to hold on to power.

Today was an amazingly stupid move. They attacked American journalists, and the US media is actually reporting facts about the situation. Even the Village might figure out what is going on.

February 2, 2011   Comments Off on Egypt Phase 2

Severe Tropical Cyclone Yasi (Cat 5)

Severe Tropical Cyclone YasiPosition: 17.5S 146.8E [ 6 AM CST 1200 UTC 10PM AEST].
Movement: West-Southwest [250°] near 17 mph [28 kph].
Maximum sustained winds: 155 mph [250 kph].
Wind Gusts: 190 mph [305 kph].
Tropical Storm Wind Radius: 255 miles [405 km].
Hurricane Wind Radius: 85 miles [139 km].
Minimum central pressure: 930 mb ↑.

Currently about 80 miles [ 130 km] East-Southeast of Cairns, Australia in the Coral Sea.

A Cyclone Warning is in effect for coastal and island communities from Cape Flattery to Proserpine, extending West across the tropical interior to the Northern Territory border.

The storm is beginning to come ashore between Innisfail and Cardwell.

Overnight the eyewall expanded and the pressure came up slightly, but it is too little too late to reduce the winds. It is on the border, 155 mph, of becoming a Category 5 storm on the Saffir-Simpson as well as the Australian systems.

The ABC has sent up a Yasi Live Blog to cover the event.

Check the Australian BoM Cyclone page for the most current information.

As always, people have ignored the warnings to evacuate and are calling emergency services for help that cannot come because of the weather conditions.

Update: The ABC reported at 12:45AM AEST [8:45AM CST]: Queensland coast feeling Yasi’s fury

North Queensland residents are feeling the full force of one of Australia’s worst cyclones, with the category-five storm crossing the coast near Mission Beach, south of Innisfail.

Update: Yasi is ashore and has been downgraded to Category 4. It will be a while before damage assessment teams can get out as the sun hasn’t risen in Australia and the winds along the coast have not dropped all that much.

February 2, 2011   Comments Off on Severe Tropical Cyclone Yasi (Cat 5)

Groundhog Day

Militant Groundhog

It’s Groundhog Day and some of the militant marmots object to being disturbed.

February 2, 2011   2 Comments