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Early cyclone above East Kimberley, 2009 season predictions and a question for beach lovers.
December 18, 2008

19 December 2008, Issue #013

In this issue:

** Early Cyclone Above the East Kimberley
** 2009 Season Predictions
** A Question for Beach Lovers


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It's good weather for ducks! At least that's how my mate Henry puts it.

Early Cyclone Above the East Kimberley

Cyclone Billy is stalled north of us and it's been bucketing down non stop for over 40 hours. The way it looks it will continue for another day or two.

We have just been upgraded to a yellow alert as Billy is threatening Wyndham, Kununurra, Oombulgurri and Kalumburu.

Kununurra is not really under threat from destructive winds, there are too many ranges between us and the coast, but the water alone can wreak havoc.

(At this stage Billy is "only" category two anyway, winds of about 140 kph. Our electrical storms can rip through the valley with over 200...)

Hmm, I just emptied 135 mm out of the rain gauge, and the wind has certainly picked up.

Let's see what happens!

Here's what it looks like on the radar (where you only see the rain, not the cloud):

And here is the satellite image of what the north currently looks like:

(Of course, by the time you open this message it might be all over...)

It's been a while since we had such an early cyclone. In fact, I can't remember any in my 15 years here. Not that it means anything. I have been battling the odd bout of early onset senility...

But it goes to show what I always stress about our wet seasons: they are totally unpredictable!

2009 Season Predictions

I have been getting a trickle of questions asking me for predictions for the 2009 season

-- Will we be able to get into the Bungles in April?
-- Will the Gibb River Road be open on (insert date of choice)?
-- How high will the rivers be the second week in May?

I wouldn't know. Nobody does.

You'd have to experience one of those cyclones or tropical lows to comprehend just how much impact they have on what the Kimberley looks like during the early dry season.

We get several cyclones or monsoon troughs along that coast every year. They are isolated events that could happen at any time during the wet season, any time between December and April. And they dump incredible amounts of water.

Theoretically there might not be another one hitting the coast this season, or the last one might occur in late April as was the case in 2000.
Anything could happen.

The earlier you visit us the better your chances to see the country at its best.
The later you visit us the better your chances to find the roads open.

My guide books address the topic in detail. Beyond that we can predict nothing. Sorry!

A Question for Beach Lovers

I have a question for the beach lovers:

Is Cable Beach worth a two week visit? To be clear, we all know Cable Beach is great and sure worth having a look.

The specific question is, if someone has never been to Australia before, is it worth the expense to fly over, all the way from the US, to spend two weeks in a resort at Cable Beach?

I'm not much into beaches and resort holidays myself. My view is not as helpful as the view of someone who likes that kind of thing. Interested to hear your thoughts!

And now, finally, the real reason why I started writing this issue:

I wanted to wish you...

A Merry Christmas and a great start into the New Year!

Enjoy the holidays and I'll talk to you next year!

B. (Birgit)

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(c) 2005-2008, Birgit Bradtke. All rights reserved. The Kimberley Guide is published by Birgit Bradtke in Kununurra, WA 6743, Australia. Reproduction of any material from this newsletter without written permission is prohibited.

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