A cyclone warning has been issued for Darwin – Cyclone Monica looks
like she’ll cross the coast somewhere to the northeast of the city,
with predictions she’ll weaken before she gets here on Tuesday. “It’s
coming our way. That’s what it boils down to,” says senior Weather
Bureau forecaster Graeme King. Here’s what the blogs are saying:

  • Monica should slowly weaken before she gets to Darwin, since much
    of the circulation will be over land, and the eye will have to cross
    land as well. Still, Monica could still be a formidable Category 3 or 4
    hurricane by then, and a direct hit on Darwin would likely cause severe
    damage. –Jeffs Weather

  • Monica is currently a category 5 with winds 100 kph stronger than
    that at 350kph. Darwin houses are required to be designed to withstand
    a strong category 4 cyclone, but a lot would sustain major damage if
    Monica retains its present strength and hits Darwin squarely. – Club Troppo
  • Australians must feel like residents of hurricane alley in the
    Atlantic did last year, when three of the six strongest hurricanes on
    record occurred, causing the most damage ever–what’s going on with the
    weather? However, be reminded that the Northern Hemisphere Pacific
    Ocean had a very below-normal tropical cyclone season last year, and
    the Indian Ocean also had below normal activity. – Wunderground
  • Well we’re looking a lot better with this forecast than we were
    (see maps) , we should only get some 150 km/h winds about midday at
    current predictions which will be the edge of the cyclone. We’re
    getting fairly concerned about the storm surge though, high tide is
    about 2pm – when the expected 3m surge comes we’ll flood as the island
    is largely below sea level, once it clears the 3m high lip at waters
    edge it’ll fill up pretty quick down here. – Mikblog

  • This situation continue to deteriorate along the north coast of
    Australia. It is hard to imagine a worse situation in this area as
    Australian cyclones almost never reach this strength. Monica is
    currently much stronger than 1974’s Cyclone Tracy which is the benchmark storm for the area. As far as I can tell, Monica may be the most intense cyclone to ever impact the region
    or even Australia. However, records are hard to find. After striking
    Queensland a few days ago, Monica has crossed Gulf of Carpentaria and
    is strafing the coast of the Northern Territory. – The Storm Track

Peter Fray

Fetch your first 12 weeks for $12

Here at Crikey, we saw a mighty surge in subscribers throughout 2020. Your support has been nothing short of amazing — we couldn’t have got through this year like no other without you, our readers.

If you haven’t joined us yet, fetch your first 12 weeks for $12 and start 2021 with the journalism you need to navigate whatever lies ahead.

Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey

JOIN NOW