Ex-cy­clone heads away from coast

Whitsunday Times - - LOCAL NEWS -

EX-TROP­I­CAL Cy­clone Hadi proved a dif­fi­cult weather sys­tem for fore­cast­ers to pre­dict, with ini­tial sug­ges­tions of a land­fall near the Whit­sun­day coast prov­ing false as the sys­tem headed back out to sea in­stead.

Bureau of Me­te­o­rol­ogy fore­caster Rick Threlfall said the slow-mov­ing low pres­sure sys­tem did not of­fi­cially reach trop­i­cal cy­clone strength un­til 1am on Mon­day, pav­ing the way for an­other sys­tem in the Gulf of Car­pen­taria to de­velop first and steal its pre­vi­ously re­served name of Gil­lian.

Once Cy­clone Hadi did form, Mr Threlfall said it “just sort of lin­gered around in the same spot for a while”, be­fore mov­ing east then north­east, away from the coast.

At 4.25pm on Tues­day it was down­graded from a cy­clone to a trop­i­cal low.

“And it re­ally is not go­ing to have any fur­ther im­pact on the Queens­land coast,” Mr Threlfall said.

What the sys­tem did bring with it was plenty of rain and strong winds, par­tic­u­larly in spots such as Hamil­ton Is­land where gusts of more than 50 knots were recorded.

Flights were af­fected and fer­ries and char­ter boats were re­stricted to port af­ter the har­bour­mas­ter closed the Whit­sun­day ma­rine pi­lotage area on Satur­day at 6pm.

But de­spite the wet weather the Whit­sun­days ap­par­ently wel­comed plenty of vis­i­tors over the weekend.

One per­son who came here specif­i­cally for the event was storm chaser Daniel Lutzke.

Mr Lutzke, who con­tracts to the Early Warn­ing Net­work (EWN), ar­rived in Air­lie Beach on Satur­day and stayed un­til mid­day on Mon­day.

“The winds were pretty phenom­e­nal at Shute Har­bour – it was pretty in­tense – enough to shake your car,” he said.

Mr Lutzke said there were still a cou­ple of months of the cy­clone sea­son yet to come and he hoped to re­turn to the Whit­sun­days if the op­por­tu­nity arose.

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