1 February 2011 Tuesday 9pm

It was just announced on our local weather channel, currently dedicated to round-the-clock coverage of tracking Cyclone Yasi, that the Brisbane -Ipswich areas are officially clear of the cyclone. We’ll experience rain, wind and possibly hail, but nothing like the tree-shredding, roof-blowing weather they are going to deal with further north. I am so relieved.

By the way – some Australian reporters and politicians covering this event are pronouncing it ‘yah-zee and others ‘yaht-zee’. Like the game.

News.com.au continues to provide timestamped updates on their website with all emergency instructions for those in Cyclone Yasi’s path and have even added a countdown clock. As of this posting, Yasi is scheduled to make landfall in 27 hours – or at aprox. 1am Thursday morning.

BOM has this to say and has upgraded their classification of the storm to read “Severe Tropical Cyclone Yasi”. BOM is Australias official centre of meterology. Here’s some of the new report:

Remarks:

YASI IS LARGE AND POWERFUL TROPICAL CYCLONE AND POSES A SERIOUS THREAT TO NORTH QUEENSLAND COMMUNITIES

The Cyclone will continue to intensify and move in a west-southwesterly direction overnight.

DAMAGING winds with gusts to 90 km/hr are expected to develop on the islands during Wednesday morning, then extend onto the coast during the day, and further inland across the northern tropical interior overnight.

Between Cooktown and Ingham these winds will become DESTRUCTIVE with gusts in excess of 125km/hr on Wednesday afternoon and VERY DESTRUCTIVE with gusts above 200 km/hr between Port Douglas and Cardwell during the evening as the cyclone approaches. These VERY DESTRUCTIVE winds will extend onto the coastal ranges including the Atherton Tablelands on Wednesday evening.

As the centre approaches and crosses the coast sea levels between Cairns and Townsville will rise significantly above the normal tide with damaging waves, strong currents and flooding of low lying areas in coastal parts.

Flooding rains will develop from Cooktown to Sarina during Wednesday afternoon and then extend inland overnight.

And remember, this is the forecast for ‘before’ the storm makes landfall.

Hubbs and I are out of immediate danger – but please keep the candles lit and prayers coming for all the thousands of Queenslanders further north who are only just beginning the reality of this nightmare.

OzMud

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