This is the monthly newsletter of WikiProject Tropical Cyclones. The Hurricane Herald aims to provide a summary of both the activities of the WikiProject and global tropical cyclones. If you wish to change how you receive this newsletter, or no longer wish to receive it, please add your username to the appropriate section on the mailing list. This newsletter covers March 2009.
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Satellite image of Hamish near peak intensity
Storm of the month Cyclone Hamish formed as a Tropical Low to the south of Papua New Guinea on March 4. The low quickly organized and became Tropical cyclone Hamish the following day. Hamish then started to rapidly intensify, becoming the second severe tropical cyclone of the season the next day. Throughout much of its duration, it moved southeastward, parallel to the coast of Queensland. It underwent rapid deepening over a period of 48 hours, Hamish reached peak winds of 215 km/h (130 mph) according to the Australia Bureau of Meteorology, making the cyclone a Category 5 on the Australian intensity scale. It quickly weakened due to wind shear, and without moving ashore it stalled and turned to a northwest drift. The low dissipated on March 5.
Hamish indirectly caused a major environmental disaster along the Queensland coastline, when strong waves from the cyclone damaged the hull of a cargo ship, spilling 260 tonnes of fuel and oil into the ocean. The oil washed onto the coastline, endangering the environment prompting a costly cleanup. Offshore, the fishermen went missing after the boat was lost; one person was found, although the other two remained missing and were presumed dead. As the storm remained offshore, overall damage directly from the storm was minor, primarily from strong waves.
Other tropical cyclone activity
Australia – In addition to Cyclone Hamish, three other cyclones formed and were named as Gabrielle, Ilsa and Jasper. However, there was no impact reported from these three storms whilst in the Australian region.
South Pacific – This month Cyclones Joni and Ken formed near to the Cook Islands, whilst Cyclone Jasper moved into the area at its peak and brought heavy rain and coastal erosion to New Caledonia. On the last day of the month Tropical Depression 14F formed to the northeast Fiji.
South-West Indian – Severe Tropical Storm Izilda was the only storm to form in the South-West Indian Ocean this month; however the extratropical remnants of Ilsa moved into the region from the Australian basin.
Member of the month
The member of the month is... Ramisses, has been a member of the Project since January 2008. He is a usefull editor who helps to make the trackmaps for the current season articles, as well as numerous other storms, from previous seasons. We just hope he is able to keep on top of the trackmaps when the busy part of the year comes!
There is a discussion on the state of the project, discussing whether it still works like it used to, and what can be done about it. One extreme position is labeling the project inactive, while another position is eliminating some of the bureaucracy. Input would be very beneficial.
As part of the above discussion, there is a request for all active members to sign a list to affirm they are still active members in the project. If you don't sign the list, or if you don't consider yourself active anymore, your name will be placed on the inactive members list on May 1st.
Hurricanehink has organised a challenge to try and improve some of the Tropical cyclone articles. The rules are that you must take either an seasonal or a storm article from one of the eight basins we have, that is either a Stub, Start class or a brand new article and improve it to at least GA status. However to avoid several articles on cyclones that did not affect land, Hurricanehink has limited the challenge to storms/seasonal articles of Mid-importance or higher. Their is an exception to this rule for the Central Pacific as Cyclones rarely form in this basin. - For full details of the challenge see the Project's Talkpage Project member list