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The first tropical cyclone to form in the Australian area of responsibility has formed off the coast of NW Australia. Stan has winds of 45kts according to JTWC. The storm has deep, centralised convection and well developed banding features. Outflow is excellent, which is reducing the impact of moderate shear in the area. Landfall is expected on the Pilbara coast in about 36hrs, could be a hurricane strength system at landfall if the current rate of intensification continues.
A tropical low has formed in the Josef Bonaparte Gulf, west of the Top End. Convection is increasing over a developing LLCC. The low is heading towards the coast and should make landfall east of Kulumburu in a little over 12hrs time. BOM forecast the low to become a tropical cyclone before this occurs. JTWC assess the chances of TC development as MEDIUM. BOM then forecast 04U to head westwards as ridging builds to the south. Over land, 04U will lose TC status (if it gains it in the first place) but then move back over the warm waters of the southeast Indian Ocean, where redevelopment should occur. It should be noted that some models are indicating quite an intense cyclone moving down the northwest Australian coast as we head towards the New Year.
A tropical low is has developed a few hundred miles north of Cocos Island. The low, also known as invest 94S, is moving southwestwards, north of Cocos Island. The system is currently being affected by shear, and is currently quite broad natured, but the shear should ease as the low continues southwestwards, allowing development. BOM expects the system to become a tropical cyclone within the next 24hrs, and JTWC assess this risk as a MEDIUM risk. The cyclone should then move out of the Australian region of responsibility and into MeteoFrance's area of responsibility in the Southwest Indian Ocean in around 48hrs time, whilst continuing to intensify.
The second tropical cyclone of the 2013-14 Southern Hemisphere tropical cyclone season has formed, this time in the waters of Northwest Australia (the first was in the South Indian Ocean also, last month, east of Madagascar). The cyclone has winds of 35kts according to JTWC. The low was noted a few days ago just south of Indonesia, and has since dropped south whilst slowly developing. Overnight, the system has become much better organised, with deep convection over the increasingly well defined LLC, and formative banding features taking shape. I expect BOM to name the system soon. The environment ahead seems to favour at least some modest intensification over the next few days. The waters off the NW Australian coast are certainly warm enough, and looking at CIMSS wind shear charts, shear looks fairly low, at least for now, but are higher further north: Track wise, it seems fairly straightforward. An equatrorial ridge seems to be now steering 02S to the east, and this is expected to continue over the next few days, taking 02S north of Kuri Bay, into Kalumburu, into the Josef Bonaparte Gulf before final landfall south of Darwin. Some minor adjustments in track can be expected, but models are in quite good agreement on this scenario.