Weathering the Storms

Tropical Cyclone Larry announced itself with a roar of wind through the streets of Innisfail around 5 a.m. last Monday. The day before, the 8,500 residents of the tiny far north Queensland town had enjoyed some blue skies and a light breeze, making the urgent warnings on television and radio sound faintly ridiculous. But 650 km to the northeast, Larry was sucking power from the moisture-laden tropical air, its growth favored by circulation patterns over the warm coral seas south of Solomon Islands. Overnight, the 200-km-wide Category Four storm zeroed in on the cane and banana farming district.

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