Cyclone Bianca, blackouts and tornados in WA: yeah… it really is just a typical Australian summer

Unusual cyclone activity of the West Australian cost:

Blackouts, tornadoes as the storm before the storm lashes Western Australia

The latest modelling of the path of Cyclone Bianca, as at 5.45pm on Saturday, which shows it likely to cross the coast between Perth and Bunbury.

State Emergency Services volunteers have mobilised across WA as damaging storms swept through ahead of tropical Cyclone Bianca, which is due to cross the coast on Sunday.

The Fire and Emergency Services Authority reported that severe thunderstorms hit parts of metropolitan Perth and regional towns of Toodyay, Northam, York and Wongan Hills between 2.30 and 3.30pm today.

A FESA spokeswoman said heavy rain and strong wind had ripped the roofs off homes, and trees and powerlines had been brought down.

Because this is just another typical Australian summer:

York resident Tanya Richardson told radio 6PR many properties around her house had damage after the storm swept through

“We came inside the house and then with that trees just started uprooting and flying across the roof and sheds collapsing,” she said.

“I’ve never seen anything like it. It was really scary.”

Storm front passing over Clarkson, Perth:

The good news, Bianca has weakened to a category one:

Cyclone Bianca off the West Australian coast has been downgraded to category one but the weather bureau warns it may still impact on communities in the southwest of the state on Sunday.

The bureau says people can expect possible coastal erosion, flooding of low lying coastal areas, rough seas, damaging winds with gusts to 100 kilometres, very high to severe fire danger and south of Bunbury heavy rain with possible localised flooding.

A cyclone warning is current for coastal areas from Jurien Bay to Albany including Perth, Mandurah, Bunbury and Busselton.

The bureau says tides between Jurien Bay and Cape Naturaliste will be higher than normal.

Saturday afternoon’s storms caused damage in parts of Perth and regional towns to the east, including Toodyay, Northam, York and Wongan Hills.

Australia is the canary in the coal mine as far as climate change – we’ll be amongst the hardest hit “industrial” nations.

Please deniers – sceptics if you prefer – tell me there’s nothing to worry about. Better yet, tell yourself there is nothing to worry about.

The massive flooding and cyclones and extreme  flooding, the worst locust plague in 30 years in Victoria – just a typical Australian summer.



29 thoughts on “Cyclone Bianca, blackouts and tornados in WA: yeah… it really is just a typical Australian summer

  1. john byatt says:

    Wait for it? cyclones have hit Perth in the past without AGW,

    and lets not forget that global temperatures were this high 130,000 years ago without AGW ,

    Nothing that happens will convince them, see Skeptical Science for recent case study

  2. A tropical storm in southern Australia? Certainly not suggestive of climate regions shifting poleward! The odd cyclone has trailed down the southern Australian coast, but more a weakening arm sweeping over – not a fully formed cyclone. Of course one freak storm proves nothing, but we need to ignore all the freak storms over the past couple years not to be concerned.

    • Before Ray or Sundance pop up with another irrelevant or obscure link, here’s one from the BOM, tracking over the last 100 yrs of cyclone activity. As you’ll see on the west coast – most form higher up before travelling down. To get such a well formed cyclone at the same latitude as Perth is truly weird.

  3. zoot says:

    In the interests of accuracy, the storm that did the damage was not cyclone Bianca, so your heading Video of Cyclone Bianca passing over Clarkson, Perth: is inaccurate. Bianca was well offshore at the time and has weakened to a low today (Sunday), 12 hours before it is expected to cross the coast.
    Leaving that heading will give evidence to deniers that we are hysterical liars.

  4. zoot says:

    BTW, we tend to get cyclones as far south as this every 6 or 7 years on average according to the BOM. That page appears to date from 2004, but I don’t remember any activity since then.
    In my opinion, TC Bianca is nothing out of the ordinary and doesn’t really support AGW. But if there is another cyclone this far south this summer I’ll be saying “Told you so” to the people with their heads in the sand.

    • Watching the Deniers says:

      Worth noting, thanks Zoot…

      Then there are now two cyclones hitting North Queensland:

      “…COMMUNITIES along almost 2000km of Queensland coastline are preparing for the first of two tropical cyclones to hit.

      Cyclone Anthony has been upgraded to category two and could slam into Queensland’s north coast as early as tonight.

      Authorities are also warning a second, much bigger cyclone could also roar across the coast this week.

      Cyclone Anthony has intensified and at last report was 360 kilometres east of Townsville and 245 kilometres east northeast of Bowen.

      It’s expected to hit the coast near Ayr between 11pm (AEST) tonight and 1am (AEST) tomorrow, the Queensland Bureau of Meteorology says.

      Destructive winds are expected to develop around coastal and island communities in the region on Sunday night as it approaches.

      But Premier Anna Bligh has warned a much larger cyclone of similar intensity is tipped to cross the Queensland coast within five days.

      She said a low system brewing off Vanuatu looked likely to develop into a cyclone on Sunday afternoon and cross somewhere along the Queensland coast as early as Thursday morning.

      “The second system is a very large system; it is a very large rainfall system as well as potentially a very significant cyclone,” she told said.

      “So we’re looking at not only a potentially damaging cyclone but more very heavy rainfall, depending on where it falls, which could fall into river catchments and cause further flooding beyond the cyclone.”

      Bureau of Meteorology’s Queensland regional director Jim Davidson said it was unusual to have a forecast out so far in advance, but all the major models had been predicting a second larger cyclone.

      “The models have been absolutely consistent now for some days in generating a large tropical disturbance in the Fiji area and moving it westward towards the Queensland coast,” Mr Davidson said.

      “There is a good likelihood we’ll see a very large system on the Queensland coast by Thursday.”

      Communities from Cooktown to Hervey Bay have been put on alert but Mr Davidson said coming days would provide a better idea on where it would make landfall.

      While Cyclone Anthony is smaller, authorities are warning it will produce destructive winds of 140km/h. Townsville, Ayr and the Burdekin region are on alert.

      Ms Bligh said disaster groups in the region were on alert and evacuation centres were prepared but residents were being advised to bunker down at home.

      People are being urged to tie down any outside items that could become missiles during the cyclone.

      Abbot Point and other coal terminals have closed and all Townsville ferries and north and south-bound trains from Cairns have been cancelled.”

  5. john byatt says:

    should be 11pm thur not tue as shown< I hope

  6. Pete_Ridley says:

    Hi Mike, you’re at it again with your scare-mongering “ .. Australia is the canary in the coal mine as far as climate change – we’ll be amongst the hardest hit “industrial” nations .. ”. As I said on both your “Andrew Bolt’s “Hockey Schtick”: .. ” and “A wave that could drown the world: .. ” threads, you do talk a load of nonsense. Severe flooding and severe droughts are not a new phenomenon and they are not climate change, they are weather events. We’ve had them all before and we’ll have them again.

    What is more to the point, there is absolutely no convincing evidence that such events have anything to do with our use of fossil fuels. Please try to understand what science is available instead of simply accepting and parroting the propaganda that politicians, environmentalists and the power-hungry throw at you. Just for once try thinking for yourself.

    As you rightly say “ .. you need to look at the total picture. .. ”.

    John (Byatt), the same comment applies. I took a look at some of your previous comments on the subject elsewhere in the blogosphere and can find nothing of yours that is worth consideration. Your less than well-considered opinion of me that you expressed on the RealClimate blog ( indicates the extent of your debatng ability. Do you consider every individual who dares to be sceptical of the version of science offered in Realclimate, Sceptical Science and here to be “ .. a raving lunatic .. a habitual lier .. spreading disinformation .. ”? Your request to M Paul Lloyd to “ .. promise not to resort to name calling unless you declare yourself a creationist .. ” ( suggests to me that you are perhaps somewhat hypocritical. Certainly you have little tolerance of those with a religious bent. Perhaps you have the same opinion of Dr Roy Spencer as you have of me, after all, he’s a creationist, isn’t he!

    That childish name-calling of yours (10 Dec 2010 @ 5:10 AM) was in relation to a discussion around The Cornwall Alliance. Just because I make reference to Spencer’s fine work in my article on the New Zealand Climate Science Coalition’s web-site does not make me sympathetic to the Alliance’s religious views so please stop talking childish nonsense.

    It was quite a coincidence that you made those comments then because only a few weeks later I was exchanging opinions on the Cornwall Alliance with John O’Sullivan and his team of “Slayers”. You probably aren’t aware that they have published a book “Slaying the Sky Dragon” ( in which they claim to have killed off the greenhouse theory. Even |Roy Spencer is sceptical of that claim. If you look at the book’s web-page ( you may notice at the bottom another “Dragon” book “Resisting the Green Dragon” and guess where that links to – you got it, The Cornwall Alliance.

    I suggested to the “Slayers” group that it might be detrimental to the crusade against the CACC doctrine if there was any link with the Alliance.

    BTW, Mike, Ti(mothy) and John, you may be interested in having a read of the “Slayers’” fund-raising posting on the GoFundMe site ( and consider getting involved with those “Top Scientists in Heated Debate over ‘Slaying’ of Greenhouse Gas Theory” on Judith Curry’s blog – I’ll provide a link if it ever happens. I’m sure that you will all be able to make some major contributions towards enlightening those top scientists on how they’ve fooled themselves into thinking that the CACC religion in based upojn flawed science, after all, you are experts yourselves, aren’t you – aren’t you? Maybe not. I know that Tim has some understanding of the impacts (not the causes) of climate change but I’m not sure about you Mike, since you are an IT man, but I have no idea what your area of expertise is John. Come on. Don’t be shy.

    Best regards to Mike, Ti(mothy) and John,
    Pete Ridley

    • You’re getting damn nasty old man.. Senility is certainly kicking in. If you persist with calling my by my full name with brackets (Pete)r, it would make more sense to do so like this; Ti(Moth)y.. Cheers

      “I know that Tim has some understanding of the impacts (not the causes) of climate change”

      Another mistake – my work involves impacts and flux monitoring. Your background is more an irrelevant technical profession complimented with grey literature designed to promote unreasonable doubt – talk about the kettle calling the pot black!

      There’s very little debate, within the scientific community about the reality of ACC (or AGW – note, people who talk science avoid judgement words, such as Pete’s “C” – ie. catastrophic, but he needs to persist with it as it renders the “debate” illogical and within his grasp), but I can see the really entrenched people, such as Pete will linger on this debate long after adaptation and innovation are well and truly under way. Hence the sense in arguing with such people is rendered futile.

    • Watching the Deniers says:

      I’m familiar with the resources: Cronwell is essentially fundamentalist Christian propoganda. “Creation” and “climate change denial”? My response:

      Out out!

      Given I’m a fan of reason, the Enlightenment and human flourishing I tend to take fundie-tracts with a huge grain of salt.

      Cornwell is simply a front group:

      “:…Defenders of the dirty energy status quo, particularly the lobbyists and politicians associated with the oil and coal industry, have continually trotted out a group of evangelical leaders known as the Cornwall Alliance to counter the growing sentiment in the evangelical community that anthropogenic climate change is a threat to God’s creation. Cornwall declares that true Christians believe “there is no convincing scientific evidence that human contribution to greenhouse gases is causing dangerous global warming.”

  7. adelady says:

    “Please deniers – sceptics if you prefer – tell me there’s nothing to worry about. Better yet, tell yourself there is nothing to worry about.”

    That will last as long as it takes to get the next premium notice from the insurance company. Who’d like to be a fly on the wall when the call centres start dealing with complaints from the cranks that their premiums shouldn’t be going up because there’s “nothing special” about the latest round of insurance claims.

  8. Pete_Ridley says:

    Hi Ti(Mothy), so “people who talk science avoid judgement words, such as Pete’s “C” – ie. Catastrophic .. ”. I see, what you are declaring now is either that Stephen Schneider didn’t “talk science” or did not say “ .. We do not rule out the catastrophic 5 degrees or the mild half or one degree. .. ” or “ .. I can end up expecting that we could have climate change that’s catastrophic in the next century .. ” (because I see that word “catastrophic” three times in those article quotations. I also see an insert suggesting that Schneider was “ .. A professor of biological sciences at Stanford University .. ” – that’s a scientist, isn’t it? Pardon my senility but would you like to explain which?

    I also think that his “ .. And the special interests, ….. from deep ecology groups grabbing the 5 degrees as if it’s the truth, .. ” is relevant don’t you?

    Best regards, Pete Ridley

    • Sundance says:

      Pete – it appears that the number of deniers that need watching is growing rapidly in the USA. ;*) The latest survey indicates that now only 41% of Democrats are concerned about climate change. Combined with Independents and Republicans the total is the lowest ever at 26%. The survey was taken in August 2010 before we had all the frigid temperatures and snow befall us, so it’s likely even fewer than 26% of the USA sees it as a concern in 2011. Newspapers and TV news here have been reporting that cold winters may be the norm for the next 20+ years. This must be why president Obama hasn’t addressed global warming etal. as an issue in his weekly addresses or in his recent SOTU speech. The focus here now is energy independence as the ME situation continues to degrade and Americans see $4.00+/gallon gas coming by summer.

  9. Pete_Ridley says:

    PS: Sorry Ti(Mothy), I forgot to include the link to that interview with Schneider –

  10. klem says:

    The fact that the cyclone was reduced to catagory one , was caused by climate change. Humans are responsible for this, if it weren’t for humans driving SUVs the cyclone would have remained a killer. Man I hate ACC.

  11. Pete_Ridley says:

    Hi Sundance, what are you complaining about, with your petrol only costing $4 per gallon. Ours is over $10 (weep weep). At the low price you pay you must have any spare cash that you want to gamble with so why not donate to the setting up of Principia Scientific Internatinal (PSI) “ .. as a ‘not for profit’ .. ” private company on the off-chance that it will make a difference to Government policies regarding taxing our use of fossil fuels. The begging bowl is at the GOFundMe web-site ( They are trying to collect £15000 but have only managed £400 since it started two weeks ago so I’m sure that any donation from you (and anyone else here) will be gratefully received.

    My humble opinion is that Governments are determined to get that money out of us somehow without us squealing too much and taxing that essential, life-supporting substance CO2 by claiming that it is a dangerous pollutant seems to them to be a nice way of doing it. Efforts by the little people to try to prevent it happening will be fought with all of the power at their disposal. That’s some “David v Goliath” fight that PSI has to look forward to and I don’t think that the “stone and sling” attack from this fledgling “ .. world’s first open to all, politics-free, generalist science association .. ” will make much of an impact (unless “the Slayers” have a secret weapon).

    But, according to the resident psychologist – oopss, sorry, Ti(Moth)y, ecologist – I’m just a senile old man and a pessimistic to boot (although I prefer to think of myself as a realist).

    Hi again Ti(Moth)y, here are some more mentions of “catastroph” from sadly departed scientist Stephen Schneider.

    In an April 2009 interview “Stephen Schneider on avoidable and unavoidable climate impacts” Schneider said “ .. We don’t want to see it go to 4 to 6 to 8 degrees, where we could have not only catastrophic mega-fires, but also catastrophic mega-hurricanes. .. .. This is a mega-catastrophe from the biological point of view .. ” (

    “In a January 2002 Scientific American article Schneider wrote: I readily confess a lingering frustration: uncertainties so infuse the issue of climate change that it is still impossible to rule out either mild or catastrophic outcomes, ..”.

    Don’t you think that it is time to humbly withdraw you comment that “people who talk science avoid judgement words, such as Pete’s “C” – ie. Catastrophic .. ”?

    Some might suggest that Schneider was a lead scaremonger for at least a couple of decades. After all, as far back as 1990 he was referring to the 21st century as “The Greenhouse Century” (! In that commentary he said with regard to 5C of warming “I do not hesitate to call the latter figure catastrophic” (Page 288). I really loved this statement of his “ .. we must rely on the intuition of experts .. NAS .. regularly convenes a range of experts to estimate the probabilities of various scenarios of change..” (Page 289). That 20 year old publication is worth looking at.

    Best regards, Pete Ridley

    • I get the distinct feeling Pete, that you’ve been waiting to retort about “catastrophic” discussions to me for some time and I have to say it’s pretty pathetic if that’s the best you have.

      By your logic, evidence for creationism must be taken seriously because a scientist believe it to be so (ie. Spencer as you brought up yourself). It’s not called The ‘International Panel on Catastrophic Climate Change’ and as far as scientific media goes, it’s only AGW or ACC (depending on what exactly you’re discussing). It’s Schneider’s judgement that higher projections might be ‘catastrophic’ – find science literature that continually refers it as “catastrophic” other than as an opinion (which you will be unlikely able to do, as some who has read a fair amount of the available literature).

      To put it another way, I personally feel that current species extinction levels are ‘catastrophic’ and if more people were aware of the level of biodiversity decline and what projections seem possible if we do not change our behaviours, I feel that the wider community would also feel that biodiversity loss is at catastrophic levels with as severe ramifications to human survival if continued. At the same time, I know that a lot of pro-business-as-usual dolts feel quite the opposite – that species should get out of the way in the name of progress. That all said, if either them or I referred to it as “catastrophic biodiversity decline” it would confuse and cause laughter – it’s a silly personal reflection which undermines compelling scientific evidence. The same is true with climate change.

      Of course, you need to keep this silly notion alive and argue against ‘catastrophic anthropogenic climate change’ because you cannot argue against ACC on its own right. Feel free to argue against Schneider’s judgement, however – it’s about as meaningful as referring to everyone as ‘Nazi-esque’ as you do on your own blog.

      To reiterate a point I feel I continually make to you; ‘catastrophic’ is a value judgement and does not address the science, merely personal opinion. Someone can argue that point with you as much as they can their favourite colour. It’s nonsense Pete, sheer nonsense, as I’ve tried to explain on many occasions.

      I also find it interesting that you completely ignored the other points I made in my comment – it is difficult to put down other’s credentials when you have none of your own. I also would have thought you would have supported Sundance because that character could be a useful friend – able to also warp and confuse basic science as much as yourself.

  12. adelady says:

    “Americans see $4.00+/gallon gas coming by summer” Lucky them.

    Current price here is $AUD1.40 a litre – so that’s over $US5.30 a US gallon.

    And our fuel is cheaper than many European countries.

  13. […] Cyclone Bianca causes blackouts and tornados: yeah… it really is … […]

  14. Pete_Ridley says:

    Ti(Moth)y I always appreciate your responses. They never fail to make me smile. Be proud that you can bring a senile old man some laughter in the autumn of his years . Long may it continue. Thanks to the (benevolent) super-power that created all of this wonder and allows it to develop along this mad path top ultimate destruction.

    Best regards, Pete

    • I guess when words and reason fail, all you have left is a Wendy Wright styled laugh to fall back upon. I really feel for people like you – hence why I attempt to entertain debate, but I’ll never understand such closed-minded self-assurance.. We are far from knowing everything, but we understand more than you’re able to accept.

  15. Pete_Ridley says:

    Mike (and fellow scare-mongers) you will enjoy reading these :
    – “Yasi is a monster — but not an unusual one” (

    – “Queensland’s cycles of havoc” (

    Best regards, Pete Ridley

    • Watching the Deniers says:

      Nova and The Oz?

      Bwah ha ha ha ha ha!

    • “Mike (and fellow scare-mongers)”

      From your own blog, Pete;

      “The structure of Al Gore’s climate change organisation bears a lot of similarities with Hitler’s NAZI party.”

      “All of the scientists named are well known for their support of the UN-inspired doctrine…”

      “Penny Wrong, the Australian Minister for Climate Change, Energy Efficiency and Water, used her skills in Hitler-style propaganda to push the UN-sponsored scare…”

      It’s all propaganda, nazi’s and world domination in your eyes and you have the nerve not only to accuse others of scare-mongering, but to also refer to Nova and The Aust (which it’s arguable which is actually worse for misinformation) in lieu of evidence.

      Do you enjoy being a hypocrite, because I must say, you excel at it!

  16. Pete_Ridley says:

    Here’s some more evidence contradicting Hansen’s predicted frightening global warming “Temperatures stay below zero degrees for 40 consecutive days in North Korea ” (

    There’s a good article on scare-monger Hansen on Icecap (

    But, of course, all of these weather events, repeats of what have occurred time and time again decades and centuries ago, are due to our use of fossil fuels – and I’m sure that Mike, Ti(Moth)y, Adelady, etc all see fairies at the bottom of their gardens.

    Sorry, must dash – she who must be obeyed is stirring.

    Best regards, Pete Ridley.

  17. Lysander says:

    5 years on and not one cyclone has hit Perth or done damage to Perth. Warmies do themselves no favours as a four letter word always brings them undone: T-I-M-E.

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