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TROPICAL CYCLONE DYLAN - Whitsundays - January 31 2014



JANUARY 31 2014

Tropical Cyclone Dylan was undoubtedly the strangest and most disappointing cyclone we have evr chased. Dylan's first thunderstorms formed on January 22 SE of the Solomon Islands around 170 degrees East. That storm cluster was labelled an area of investigation and drifted west and crossed into the Australian Area Of Responsibility on january 24. The cyclone was named on january 30th and moved steadily in a SW direction to make landfall on Dingo Beach aroun d 3:30AM as a Category 2 system. Travis and I were on location just 10 kilometres inland of Dingo Beach (just north of Proserpine) as it crossed the coast. The maximum wind gusts measured from the eyewall was 44km/hr on our external mounted weather station and 39km/hr on our handheld Kestrel anemometer. and the minimum pressure recorded by our barometers were BARO 1 - 979.6 (3:42AM) BARO 2 - 980.1 (3:46AM) and BARO 3 - 979.8 (3:48AM) Hpa. While it can be argued that because we were about 10km inland is the reason we didn't witness any strong wind, the wind field rate of decay should not have been as dramatic as it was. Residents from Dingo Beach reported an hour of strong winds resembling something that would be experienced in a weak Category 1 cyclone, but we remain highly skeptical of this system ever hitting the coast as a Category 2 cyclone. 

In our view the system decoupled as it neared landfall with the surface circulation rushing SSW at about 30-40km/hr while the mid level circulation remained offshore and spawned a new cyclone called Edna the next day off Mackay. 

Dylan's only major impact was creating some large wave heights to its south due to the combination of the ridge to it south, the cyclone in the north and some king tides around the time of its crossing. 

Despite these disappointing wind recordings, we did manage to nail the eye of the storm where it was warm and relatively calm for a period of about 45 minutes. Once the eye crossed over us, drizzle set in, but surprisingly again, no wind. We headed to the coastline to check on damage, but once again we were very surprised to see no damage reported from the Whitsundays. We slept at Airlie beach in the morning, after a number of media interviews and then were back home by lunch time the next day. 


Here's our chase video (we did encounter some decent gales south of Townsville, enhanced by the topography of the area)