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Worst Of Cyclone Yasi Winds Move Into Inland Queensland

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Voxy Newswire
Worst Of Cyclone Yasi Winds Move Into Inland Queensland

The air pressure around Tropical Cyclone Yasi s now starting to qucikly rise in Cairns - evidence that the centre of the cyclone is now starting to moving inland, and with it the worst of the winds, says weatherwatch.co.nz .

The category change from Cat 5 to Cat 4 will "hardly be noticeable" with winds still gusting to 260km/h - only 20km/h lower than Cat5 status.

Observations as of 6:30am NZT

* Lucinda (near landfall) - 120km/h gusting 156km/h
* Cairns - 48km/h gusting 78km/h
* Townsville - 80km/h gusting 113km/h
* Numerous weather stations are no longer operational reports WeatherWatch.co.nz

Queensland Premier Anna Bligh said last night a wave broke the record books again - just hours after the record had previously been broken.

On Wednesday afternoon a wave measuring 6.6 metres was recorded off the coast of Townsville. At the time it was biggest wave in the area since records began in the 1970s.

In the past few hours another wave has smashed that record, coming in at a massive 9.5 metres.

Waves are expected to continue to grow over the coming hours but Anna Bligh says the cyclone has slowed down which could be favourable to the area.

The tide is now going out and the cyclone is expected to make landfall at low tide - decreasing the affect of the storm surge.

However the slower storm speed will mean torrential rain and hurricane force winds will hover over the area for longer - causing more catastrophic damage.

The cyclone remains a powerful Category 5 cyclone with winds gusting to 285km/h.

WeatherWatch.co.nz estimates the cyclone is now around 80kms from the coastline and is over 2000kms wide with damaging winds covering an area about the same length as Auckland to Wellington (500kms).

Gale force winds gusting to 104km/h have hit Townsville last night.
 

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