Tropical Cyclone Ului Predictably Unpredictable

Welcome to The Weather Channel. I did promise I wouldn’t turn this blog into The Weather Channel, but I didn’t know how difficult it would be to keep that promise.

So, here’s the weather.

Today, in western suburbs of Brisbane, around the area known as my back garden, it’s hot, the current temperature is around 29°C and it’s sunny with beautiful blue skies interrupted by cute little white fluffy clouds. There is a very light and refreshing but almost undetectable breeze.

Brisbane Weather
So, what has happened to “oooh-loo-eee” or Tropical Cyclone Ului as he is properly called? Well, it depends who you read….

ABC News

Updated 4 hours 7 minutes ago….

Tropical Cyclone Ului is expected to pick up speed today, as it continues its path towards the Queensland coast.

“The category three cyclone is still about 1,000 kilometres north-east of Mackay and moving south-west at 12-kilometres-an-hour………. However, Mr Doueal says the cyclone may speed up and it has become a little more intense in the last few hours.”

Brisbane Times

1 hour and 4 minutes ago….

Cyclone Ului weakens, still bound for coast:

“The severe tropical cyclone threatening to crash into the Queensland coast has weakened this morning.

Cyclone Ului has been downgraded to a category two system and is unlikely to re-intensify, according to the Bureau of Meteorology’s latest advice.”

The Cairns Post

Cyclone Ului picks up speed

UPDATE, March 19, 6am: Cyclone Ului is moving faster and appears to be bearing down on the Whitsundays, 600km south of Cairns, as it approaches the Queensland coast.

A Cyclone Watch has been declared for coastal areas from Cardwell to Yeppoon, extending to the adjacent inland.

Then it followed up with…..

UPDATE, March 19, 11am: Cyclone Ului has been downgraded and is expected to remain a category two as it crosses the coast between Bowen and Proserpine on Sunday.

In fairness, it’s not so much who you read, it’s when you read it. It does appear over the last five hours that the cyclone has weakened.

Here’s a satellite image courtesy of NOAA Satellite and Information Service

Satellite image of UluiThe satellite is live in real time and the image was taken just a few moments ago. To my inexperienced eye, the swirly thing looks pretty big and scary. It’s got to be at least 550 km wide. Not sure how long it will stay there, but right now you can click on this link and see what Cyclone Ului is up to right now. It’s expected to hit Queensland’s coast sometime Sunday morning between Cardwell and Mackay, towns that are…….550km apart.

Okay, I’m a bit of a novice when it comes to Cyclone watching, but given the possibilities most of this seems like better news. Not so much for the people who live between Cardwell and Mackay, although I’m sure they’ll agree that a category two is way better visitor than a category four, if that turns out to be the case. But make no mistake, they’ll be in for a battering.

But it is a Cyclone, so there is a certain amount of unpredictability. But there is one certainty. We will find out this weekend what really happens.

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