A pretty rare feat will be reached today with a category 5 cyclone set to make landfall in northeast Australia. What's a cyclone you ask? Well, it's the same as a hurricane; it's just called something different in the south Pacific. In the north Pacific they are called Typhoons, and of course in the Atlantic and eastern Pacific they are called hurricanes.
But it is far more uncommon to get a category 5 cyclone than it is to get a category 5 hurricane or typhoon. Why you ask? Well, the particular water fetch that the southern hemisphere has to work with is far smaller. In layman's terms, the amount of ocean that has the perfect conditions to form cyclones is far smaller in the southern hemisphere. This gives storms a far shorter amount of time to strengthen to category 5 status before they run into land, OR more often than not, get sheared to bits by the intertropical convergence zone or strong upper level winds that are common in the mid latitudes.
This cyclone is pretty large despite the image above, but will slam into the northeast coast of Queensland sometime today packing winds up to 140mph to the coast. Cyclone warnings and watches extend far inland with thousands of people evacuating ahead of the storm. The only benefit from this will be the rainfall. Much of Australia has been dealing with a long term drought over the last several years so the rain will be a welcome site, unfortunately it will just be too much at one time. Here is the latest forecast from the Australian Bureau of Meteorology.