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The natural world. Looking pretty for 3.5b years.

Double Whammy

Double Whammy

Author: Hugh Bollinger/Friday, February 20, 2015/Categories: natural history, environment

  Cyclone Marcia false-color satellite image  (credit: NASA)

While the eastern United States is being slammed by one winter storm after another and the western states bake in an extended drought, Australia is being hit by two cyclones (hurricanes) simultaneously. Cyclone Marcia is hammering the central coast of eastern Australia while Cyclone Lam pounds the more thinly populated  Gulf of Carpentaria in the Northern Territories. NOAA captured an image of this dual cyclonic punch.

       
                             Cyclones Marcia and Lam striking Australia, 2-19-15  (credit: NOAA)

Marcia hit the populated tourist beaches of southern Queensland and New South Wales as a Category 5 storm, the highest level, with winds exceeding 180mph. The hurricane left wide swath of destruction as it plowed through. Australian first-responders urged residents to take the storm seriously saying: "This is going to be a calamity, there's absolutely no doubt about that."  Little information is available from the more remote corners of the Northern Territories affected by the second cyclone.

There have seen some random and bizarre responses. Marcia created seas so high and rough that a giant shark was thrown onto a beach and left stranded. Elsewhere, surfing enthusiasts had some ill-conceived ideas about catching some big waves. There was no mention as to whether the shark lived and was and returned to the ocean, or if splintered surfboards and surfers were found littering the shores.


Marcia-stranded Shark  (credit: 9news Australia )      Marcia Big-Wave Surfer (credit: News Corp Australia )

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