SWIRLnet - Wind speed data for cyclone deployment

SWIRLnet is a collaborative project between the University of Queensland and JCU.   UQ logoJCU logo

To better understand wind fields that impact communities during severe wind events the Cyclone Testing Station with collaborators from the Wind Research Laboratory at The University of Queensland uses a Surface Weather Relay and Logging Network called SWIRLnet.


The following map shows currently active cyclones in Queensland, the Northern Territory and Western Australia.


Severe Tropical Cyclone Debbie was a category 4 system that made landfall near Airlie Beach on the north Queensland coast at midday on the 28th of March, 2017.  As  part of a continuing effort to better characterize wind fields that impact communities during severe wind events, the Cyclone Testing Station (with collaborators from the Wind Research Laboratory at The University of Queensland) deployed SWIRLnet (Surface Weather Relay and Logging Network) weather stations to the region prior to Debbie’s landfall.  Six SWIRLnet towers (3.2 m high anemometers placed in the communities likely to be affected) collected data continuously prior to, during and after landfall.  Three towers were deployed in the Ayr/Home Hill region, two in Bowen and one in Proserpine.

Our Rapid Damage Assessment Report can be found here.

Figures below show mean wind speed (10-minute average), gust wind speed (maximum 3-second gust within the preceding 10-minutes), mean wind direction and atmospheric pressure measured by each of the deployed SWIRLnet towers. All wind measurements are at 3.2 m above local ground level and have NOT been adjusted to standard 10 m elevation, open terrain values. No stringent quality control has been carried out on these data prior to generating these figures.

To view all available images for each tower, please cycle through them using the arrows that appear to the left and/or right of the image as you are hovering over it. Each tower will have at least two images, one showing wind speed data and the second showing atmospheric pressure.

The CTS would like to thank the Queensland Government.

QLD Gov Logo SWIRLnet

The Secure and Rapid Deployment of SWIRLnet project is a joint initiative of the Cyclone Testing Station at James Cook University and the Queensland Government.

The Cyclone Testing Station would like to thank the Queensland Government for funding assistance for the installation of buried ground anchors for the our Surface Weather Information Relay and Logging Network (SWIRLnet). We have six 3.2 m units that will record and store data on wind speed, temperature, relative humidity and pressure and upload 10 minute summaries via mobile network.

The project has delivered secure and robust buried anchors to allow rapid deployment of SWIRLnet anemomter towers to measure and provide real time data for cyclones crossing the coast. These buried anchors are now located in Cassowary Coast Regional Council, Townsville City Council, Burdekin Shire Council and Whitsunday Regional Council areas. Places with anchor locations now include; Innisfail, El Arish, Mission Beach, Tully, Cardwell, Townsville, Ayr, Home Hill, Bowen, Proserpine, and Airlie Beach.

We would also like to thank the Benefactors of the CTS for without their funding we would not be able to continue this kind of work.  Special thanks to Risk Management Solutions(RMS) who directly supports the SWIRLnet program.

The CTS is proudly NATA accredited

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