As a killer cyclone rages across Australia, a television news crew arrives in the town of Ayr to report on the devastation. Suddenly, they spot something bizarre in the middle of a flooded road. It’s a tragic victim of the freak weather conditions that have blighted the region, but it’s not of the kind that you might expect.
The story began on March 24, 2017, when a Tropical Cyclone Formation Alert was issued by the Joint Typhoon Warning Center in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. During the previous few days, an area of low pressure had formed over the Coral Sea, close to Papua New Guinea. And now, the weather system looked set to create gale-force winds.
By March 26 the cyclone had reached Category 2 in severity. That classification indicates a risk of power failure and minor damage to homes. But the next day the cyclone was upgraded to Category 3. At this level, winds can be very destructive, with small structures such as caravans often destroyed.