Saturday, 14 March 2015

Tropical Cyclones and Home Invaders

Well, not quite either of those things. But nonetheless, it's been a very active few days in the Australian/South Pacific Basin. Four active tropical cyclones at once!

On March 6, a tropical disturbance was registered just northwest of Fiji. This tropical disturbance would later become Category 5 Severe Tropical Cyclone Pam, which has passed over Vanuatu and wreaked absolute havoc and destruction. This system is still currently active and headed in the general direction of New Caledonia and northern New Zealand.

At the same time that the trough that was eventually named Pam was identified, a twin trough formed in the area of the Phillipines. It was later upgraded to a tropical storm and given the name Bavi. I don't know a great deal about that storm.

Meanwhile, in homeland Australia, we have contended with two. One on either coast.

Firstly, on the 8th of March, a weak tropical low was being monitored off the coast of Western Australia (my state). It increased in strength and convection, and on the 11th of March, was upgraded to a Category 1 Tropical Cyclone and named Olwyn. Olwyn hit his peak intensity at a Category 3.

It was actually a little frightening for a while. Olwyn was slowly descending along the coast, battering coastal towns and in particular, bringing a bit of damage and flooding to Exmouth and Carnarvon. It was predicted that Olwyn could go one of two ways; continue to move down the coast and dissipate to a tropical low by the time it reached Perth, or swing out over the ocean and re-intensify, meaning it would still be classed as a tropical cyclone by the time it made landfall in Perth, which is exactly what Alby did in the late 70's. He swung out, came back, and absolutely flattened Busselton, ripping away the famous Busselton Jetty (which has been rebuilt).

I'm a crazy person, so I love wild weather. I don't think I could handle a Category 5 like Pam, no way, but I think a Category 1 would have brought a bit of variety to Perth's lifeless weather. To be honest, we really just needed a bit of rain.

We were told to expect severe weather on Saturday with winds up to 100km/h.

We got a drizzle of rain at best, and maybe a bit of an increase in the wind. It was actually quite sad. I'm hoping winter brings some spectacular storms, because we haven't had a decent thunderstorm since March 22, 2010. And yes, everyone in Perth remembers that date because the weather was more comparable to a cyclone than what we got yesterday.

As for Queensland, they are playing a game of chicken with Tropical Cyclone Nathan. Nathan was classified on March 9th, and is currently sitting off the Queensland coast as a Category 2. He made slight initial landfall, then backed away into the ocean and is currently sitting there just biding his time. I hope he doesn't stay out there too long because I don't think Queensland really needs another Category 5, they already had one last month. And let's not forget Yasi, some people never really recovered from him. He was a bugger.

But now the cyclone excitement has passed and the sky is blue again.

Last night, however, we had a different kind of excitement. I had just gotten out of the shower and was getting dressed when there was a slight click and all our power went out.

Assuming it was because of the lingering storms passing overhead from Olwyn, I went outside to look at the sky. As I stood out there, I heard a thump on our side fence, but thought nothing of it.

I did notice, however, that our power was the only one off. And that was weird.

Dad lifted the garage door manually and went outside to have a look. One of our neighbours came wandering up the alleyway and asked if we were alright as he had seen our flashlights in the dark. He said something to my dad about how people have been turning other people's power off and stealing from cars, or something like that. Dad said no-one had turned ours off, it was just out.

But upon checking the meter box again, Dad discovered that our neighbour was right. Someone had turned our power off at the mains. We noticed this morning that they had also switched off our gas.

Dad switched it back on, and then half an hour, the dropkick came back and did it again. Mum heard him at the meter box this time, and Dad was already out the front door by the time the idiot had started running up the street.

Our neighbour came out and started yelling at the guy, and then they started punching each other and swearing while we stood on our driveway in surprise.

He never came back for another go but all in all, the night was just WEIRD.

Anyways, peace out!