Weather News

When will the wind calm down in Tassie?

Ben Domensino, Thursday September 9, 2021 - 11:44 EST

If you don't like the wind, don't live in Tasmania.

While it may not hold the record for Australia's highest wind gust, Tassie is an undeniably blustery place.

As Australia's southern-most state, it is exposed to powerful cold fronts and low pressure system that come roaring out of the Southern Ocean.

These systems, and the winds they bring to Tasmania, are usually strongest during autumn and winter. However, early spring can still serve up some squally systems, as we have seen this week.

Image: Forecast wind speed and direction on Thursday morning, showing Tasmania in the thick of blustery conditions.

Strengthening winds ahead of an approaching cold front caused wind gusts of up to 143 km/h at kunanyi / Mount Wellington last night. This came two nights after a different front produced a gust of 148 km/h at the same site.

Prior to this week, kunanyi / Mount Wellington hadn't seen winds this strong for two years. It is also close to the mountain's strongest September wind gust on record, which was 156 km/h in 2012.

The all-time strongest wind gust on record at kunanyi / Mount Wellington was 200 km/h in March 1998. Gusts have also reached up to 193 km/h in August and 178 km/h in July. All of these are winds that you would expect to see near the core of a category three tropical cyclone.

Image: Satellite image showing a cold front (thick band of cloud) near Tasmania on Thursday morning.

Fortunately for Tasmania, tropical cyclones don't make it this far south. If they did, it might be even windier, because gusts can exceed 280 km/h inside a category five tropical cyclone.

Indeed, the strongest wind gust ever reliably recorded in Australia was from a tropical cyclone.

Back in April 1996, a gust of 408 km/h was clocked inside Tropical Cyclone Olivia as it crossed Barrow Island in WA. This is also the world record for the strongest non-tornadic wind gust ever recorded.

Tasmania will continue to see strong and gusty winds on Thursday, before calmer conditions return on Friday.

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