I have always known that they
named to ease the communication about them, and
they are named in the country where they formed.
But I had no reason to look up a list of tropical cyclone names, let
alone to question why a
name has been
chosen, or to try
the next one.
I now know they are not
it's possible to know the name beforehand.
cyclone warning on TV
In late January 2014 when
had its first tropical low of the season hovering above the Coral Sea,
I started looking for information about it on the internet, and up kept
coming news stories about the future Cyclone Dylan - which was going to
be the name of the cyclone near Darwin earlier this season.
It ended up never forming, so
name hadn't been used, and was now going to be used for our
cyclone, once it formed, a few days before it crossed the
on the early hours of 31.
January 2014 at Whitsundays.
That got me curious, and after a bit of research, I found a whole table
of tropical cyclone names that are used one after another,
once the table is
finished they start all over again!
impact, its name will be taken off the list of the tropical cyclone
names (which will be done with
tropical cyclone Oswald), and will not be used again.
name isFlora, Dinah, Ada, Dora, Gertie-Fiona, Althea, Daisy, Emily, Madge, Wanda, Tracy, Trixie, Joan, David, Beth, Ted, Alby, Simon,
Elinor, Kathy, Lance, Sandy, Margot, Winifred, Connie, Jason, Elsie, Charlie,
Herbie, Ilona, Delilah, Ned, Orson, Pedro, Felicity, Ivor, Joy, Mark, Ian, Nina,
Polly, Tina, Oliver, Roger, Annette, Naomi, Pearl, Sharon, Agnes, Bobby, Violet, Warren, Barry, Gertie, Celeste, Ethel, Fergus, Kristy, Olivia, Justin, Rachel, Rhonda, Katrina, Sid, Thelma, Rona, Vance, Elaine, Gwenda, John,
Steve, Tessi, Rosita, Sam, Abigail, Chris, Erica, Inigo, Monty, Fay, Harvey, Ingrid, Clare, Larry, Glenda, Monica, George, Helen, Hamish, Laurence, Magda, Carlos, Heidi, Jasmine, Lua, Oswald,
Rusty, Lam or Marcia - there
won't be a
cyclone with your name,
because there already was one, and it was big enough that the name was
retired from the list of tropical cyclone names.
Yasi is not on the list, that's because it was not named in Australia.
The country in whose waters a cyclone
forms, is the one responsible to name it.
Some countries also
to rename the cyclone that moves into their waters.
Australia does not, otherwise Yasi would have been called
Cyclone Bianca (because it happened right after Cyclone Anthony, see
If a cyclone moves west from Australia and out of our waters, it will
be renamed by the Bureau of Meteorology of the Mauritius island.
Oswald was one of the strangest cyclones we have had.
It moved from west to east
opposite is far more common, due to the Earth's rotation), it made two landfalls,
and the system
hung around for a very long time for a cyclone.
But more than anything, it was only category
one and ended up becoming the
deadliest Australian cyclone of this century, "thanks" to
extensive floods it brought to south eastern Queensland.
There is two kinds of cyclone
- the wind damage,
and the floods
from the rains
it brings. A low
pressure area - so
low - developed over the western Gulf of Carpentaria on
The system made its first
on 19. January near Borroloola, before becoming a cyclone.
Cyclone Oswald's path by Keith
Edkins, Wikipedia Commons,
background image by NASA.
Above the land, it made a loop (unlike many other systems that die off
quickly as they loose power), and entered the area above the Gulf
There, it quickly gained power and developed
into the category one tropical cyclone Oswald.
It moved east, and made its second landfall near Kowanyama in the south
western Cape York.
It then crossed the peninsula and turned
into a tropical low again, but did not go out to the
ocean on the
Instead it started
moving south along
the coastal Queensland, bringing
lots and lots of rain.
Up in Cape York we didn't even get that much, but further south it
brought some huge rains
- peaking in Tully,
and totally isolating
Ingham as the roads got
flooded and closed.
By now we thought sure it's time for it to disappear like every other
cyclone, but no - the ex
Oswald continued its path to south eastern Queensland - an
very prone to floods.
The area was the home for the famous 2010-2011 Queensland floods, and
as it now turned out, also for the 2013
Queensland floods - brought by the ex cyclone Oswald.
The system didn't die off until 29. January 2013, and the floods killed six people
making Oswald the
deadliest cyclone since 1999.
Zane was the first May cyclone in about 70 years.
we thought that the
2013 cyclone season was well and truly over, a tropical
low formed south of Papua New Guinea, and on the 27. April
news broke in Australia about a cyclone to be formed in a few days
As predicted, Zane
formed on the last
day of the official cyclone season, to be the first
hit in the month of May since the 1940s.
It was first prediced to be weak, then gained power and turned into a
category two, and was
predicted to grow to three, before it finally weakened to a tropical low before
getting to the coast. The late
season waters were
cool to power it.
for Cape York travellers, Cyclone Zane finally ended up pretty
much not bringing a drop
after a nervous wait Cape York was open for travellers.
Cyclone Zane. Image by NASA.
A lot of people contacted me saying
they are coming up to Cape York in June or July, will the cyclone
impact be gone?
The answer is YES - a
cyclone impact never lasts for months into
the Dry Season.
Gillian was definitely one to get around.
the Queensland cyclones, and we have the cyclones of the Northern
Territory and Western Australia.
There is an occasional system that comes from as far as Fiji and
actually still lasts until Australia - but very rarely do we have a cyclone
that moves the whole way from
Queensland to Western Australia.
Gillian did that, and it
also visited the southern Indonesian islands Java and Bali (as a low
pressure system at the time).
By the time it left there, it was back into a cyclone
for the third time before it was onto the Australian Christmas Island
and southern Indian Ocean. Cyclone
formed on 8. March 2014 in the Gulf of
Carpentaria, and it first threatened Weipa and
gave us TV warnings:
It then turned west across the
Gulf and threatened the small communities on the other side, before turning into a
tropical low, taking off north, turning into a category one
again, thena tropical low again, and heading west across
Arafura Sea, Timor Sea, and Bali and Java islands.
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background chapters on the peninsula's history and wildlife; and the comprehensive detail about all the places (down to prices, opening hours and full contact detail), it has invaluable information on at least 10 four wheel drive tracks, at least 30 guaranteed FREE camping spots on the Cape (and at least 150 on your way to the Cape), at least 40 best swimming holes, all mapped; as well as practical things - from fuel, roads, wireless internet and mobile phone reception, how to deal with the national parks booking rules; and Aboriginal land entrance and camping permits and alcohol restrictions - to vehicle preparation and accessories and necessary recovery gear by my partner Mark who is the recovery guy on northern Cape York and the Old Telegraph Track). Not to mention locals' tips on how to spot that croc and palm cockatoo ;-)
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