Cyclone Larry Hammers Australia
Hurricane Season 2006: Larry (Australia)
Tropical Cyclone Larry formed off the northeastern coast of Australia on March 18, 2006. The cyclone gained power rapidly and came ashore on Queensland’s eastern coastline, where it hammered beaches with heavy surf, tore roofs off buildings, and perhaps most destructively, flattened trees in banana plantations over a wide area. The Australian Broadcasting Corporation reported early estimates that as much as 90 percent of the Australian banana crop may have been lost in this single storm. Since many trees have been destroyed, it may be many years before the banana industry recovers.
Image left: When the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on the Aqua satellite observed the storm at 2:55 p.m. Australian Eastern Daylight Savings Time (03:55 UTC) on March 20, 2006, Tropical Cyclone Larry had come well ashore onto the mainland, losing much of its power as it traveled westward. At the time of this image, Larry had peak winds of around 140 kilometers per hour (85 miles per hour), significantly less strength than it had possessed just one day before. Click image to enlarge. Credit: NASA/MODIS Land Rapid Response Team
Animation right: NASA's TRMM spacecraft observed this view of Tropical Cyclone Larry on March 19, 2006. At this time the storm was classified as a dangerous Category Four storm with sustained winds of 100 knots (115 mph) and a pressure reading of 944 mb. Larry made landfall in Northeastern Australia on March 20 as a Category Five storm with winds of up to 180 miles an hour. A second tropical cyclone, Wati, reached Category Two status on March 21, and is slowly approaching the same coastline as Larry. Blue represents areas with at least 0.25 inches of rain per hour. Green shows at least 0.5 inches of rain per hour. Yellow is at least 1.0 inches of rain and red is at least 2.0 inches of rain per hour. Click on image to view animation. Credit: NASA/JAXA