If this plane were to have vanished somewhere near or within the search areas, then no wonder it has been so tough to find anything. That's because this is a vast area in the middle of the southern Indian Ocean that serves up some pretty harsh weather.
There have been news headlines and reports regarding the search, saying multiple times that the searches had to be called off because of bad weather. The search area is smack dab in the middle of an area called The Roaring Forties. This is a corridor between 40 and 50 degrees latitude south where winds can be very strong and waves can be extremely high. In fact, waves can get up to a hundred feet tall! There is a region south called the Furious Fifties where it sounds even worse!
If you click on this link here it will take you to the Australian Weather Service's office and their ocean model waves. You can see off the southwestern coast of Australia that waves will be fairly high between 3 and 6 meters Friday, or about 15-18 feet. However during the weekend the weather model predicts smaller wave heights, perhaps yielding some better weather for searchers.
-Meteorologist Steve Glazier
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