The Calm Before the Storm - Gale Force Winds
8am. Not a leaf is moving. People are going about their business, and thinking how pleasant the weather is going to be today. Without an eye for weather, without the fantastic forecasting tools we now have available, without news, we'd find ourselves in the middle of massive gale this afternoon, unknowing, unprepared.
Down the street I'm seeing builders laying a huge piece of wood down in preparation for an upstairs verandah. Currently it's unsecured. Maybe they'll pour the concrete today, maybe not. If not, it looks like it might become a huge sail later this afternoon. Hmmm. Shall go see them.
I've always had a rule of thumb that the first major cold front comes through around mothers day. Quite often, the first wintery front are a bit weak - they travel through fast, and don't quite have any guts. However, mother nature always commands our full respect. She can turn it on anytime she pleases. Already the west coast has been treated to a most unusual onslaught of swells in the last month, and if this front delivers, you'd better have the garden furniture tied down.
So, this afternoon, the West Coast of Australia will be subjected to a major weather pattern, bringing rain and gale force winds - currently forecast to peak at around 40 knots - true "brown shorts" weather. Needless to say, don't go out in your tinnie, or it will end in tears.
The weather system will then continue it's way eastward, intensifying and giving Adelaide, Melbourne and lucky Tasmania rain and wind to signify the change of season.
Heads up - get out there and take the cushions off the outdoor furniture, secure loose items, and either get your wet suit ready, and settle in for a noisy night.
Yeeeew! What a storm! Plenty of gust and energy. Rottnest recording 50+ knot gusts