Thursday, 30 January 2014

Tropical weather

So many people who blog seem to live in parts of the USA that are having lots of snow and very low temperatures in the past few weeks.
This photo (Paul Crock AFP)
is from another cyclone in the same area in 2011.
But some of us live where the Summer never stops.

Actually where I live we do not have Summer - we have the Wet and the Dry. Why is that? Because it is always warm and the rain, not the temperature, provides the variation. How warm? About 30 degrees Celsius most days. So not hot, like in dry regions or as in absolute heatwave conditions.

There is a price though for living in such heavenly places. Cyclones. This season my city has experienced the edges of two cyclones, but luckily has avoided the worst of both.

A cyclone is easily identifies from the pattern of cloud and wind.
It is always clockwise.
Cyclones can only form over water and
when they cross onto land their force lessens.
http://www.astrosurf.com/luxorion/meteo-tornades-cyclones.htm
Now there is a cyclone near the coast of North Queensland. Cyclone Dylan is expected to cross the coast between Cairns and Townsville at about the same time as a king tide. This means that just as the rain is pouring down and the wind is roaring ferociously the tide will not be just high but very high. Rain water will not be able to run away down the storm water drains. There will be storm surges and flooding. This is not a pretty situation. Here is a link that explains it better than I can do.   http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-01-29/north-qld-residents-bunker-down-as-cyclone-forms-off-coast/5226334

I have friends and family living in and around Townsville. Brian and Clara are experiencing their first tropical cyclone here. Clara comes from northern Canada where the weather is extreme, but not in this way.

I have heard of people in parts of the US who pack the car and drive to some other town when disasters loom. That is not an option here. It would be considered ridiculously cowardly. People do evacuate to public shelters if their own homes are not built to code or if they are disabled. Charities and Emergency Services (mostly volunteers) look after the needy. You are the best person to look after your property. You may be needed to help others. You will definitely be needed to clean up afterwards.

African Aussie writes a blog and lives in this region. Not exactly in the middle of it, but certainly in the middle of this weather mess.   http://africanaussie.blogspot.com.au/  If you live in a cold place, you will enjoy reading about her tropical garden. Of course during the Wet Season she has other adventures which are just as interesting too. Visit her blog and give her some encouragement as FNQ braces itself.
FNQ is Far North Queensland, an unofficial name for the region and one laced with folk history. One area in the path of Cyclone Dylan is also known as the Cassowary Coast. If you live with snow and ice you might not know about cassowaries.

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