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tropicbreeze

Severe Tropical Cyclone Lam

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A tropical low has developed in the northern Coral Sea

Tropical Cyclone Outlook
IDD10610
Tropical Cyclone Outlook for the Northern Region, including the Gulf of Carpentaria
Issued at 2:15 pm CST on Friday 13 February 2015 for the period until midnight CST Monday 16 February 2015.
Existing Cyclones in the Northern Region:Nil.
Potential Cyclones:
A tropical low is located in the northwest Coral Sea near Cape York and expected to remain slow moving till Sunday, before moving west into the Gulf of Carpentaria. The low will continue to develop as it moves towards the northeast coast of the Top End.

Likelihood of a tropical cyclone in the Northern Region on:
Saturday: Very low.
Sunday: Low.
Monday: Moderate.


Global Models
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GFS Ensembles
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CMC Ensembles

post-22057-0-31786600-1423809524_thumb.p

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Still some variability in track forecasts (but pretty graphics :) ).

Windyty.com 09z 20150218
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Windyty.com 12z 20150219

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GFS certainly has been around the world with this one, generally the models are a bit all over the place. Apparently having difficulties dealing with an approaching ridge to the south of the continent which would keep the system further north, and a developing low around the centre of the continent which would tend to draw the system southwards. BOM suggests models will struggle with this for a couple of days with tracks changing between runs.


So GFS now has it back up to a direct hit on Gove in the 12z 20150214 run.
Wednesday 18th AM 80 knots approaching Gove.
Wednesday 18th PM 85 knots over Gove.
Thursday 19th PM 63 knots just south west of Gove.
Friday 20th PM 43 knots central Top End (east of Katherine)
Saturday 21st PM 40 knots southern JBG (Victoria River mouth)
Sunday 22nd PM 45 knots off the west Kimberley coast

GFS 12z 150214
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And some of the other models? If I say the word "spaghetti" ............

Global Models 18z 150214
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GFS Ensembles  18z 150214
post-22057-0-37782200-1423950583_thumb.p

CMC Ensembles  18z 150214

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GFS is now giving the system more of a TC Monica type of trajectory in relation to the Top End, although much weaker. ACCESS-Global is keeping it weaker and moving down the eastern Top End coast and crossing nearer to Borroloola.

Currently the low is situated more to the north east of the Gulf of Carpentaria, outflow is good, vertical wind shear moderate, but LLCC disorganised.

GFS 12z 20150215 track:
17th PM 82 knots, north east of Gove
18th AM 88 knots, north of Gove
18th PM 90 knots, north west of Gove over Galiwinku
19th AM 85 knots, crossing coast around Milingimbi
19th PM 58 knots, straddling the coast to about Maningrida
20th AM 59 knots, over land, over Jabiru
20th PM 39 knots, over land, over Adelaide River
21st AM 37 knots, crossing into Joseph Bonaparte Gulf over Wadeye
21st PM 36 knots, crossing north Kimberly coast over land near Faraway Bay
22nd AM 47 knots, crossing coast near Cape Leveque into Indian Ocean

GFS 12z 20150215 for 6:30pm 18 February 2015
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A number of the models now seem to be favouring the ridge dominating the scenario and giving the system more of a westward trajectory.

Global Models
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GFS Ensembles
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CMC Ensembles
post-22057-0-35276800-1424040499_thumb.p

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BOM has now issued a cyclone watch for this system. They are however following ACCESS-Global rather than GFS which still has the system making landfall east of Gove but displaced a bit further south once tracking over land.

IDD20150
Australian Government Bureau of Meteorology Northern Territory Tropical Cyclone Warning Centre

Media: The Standard Emergency Warning Signal should NOT be used with this warning.
PRIORITY

TROPICAL CYCLONE WATCH
TROPICAL CYCLONE ADVICE NUMBER 1

Issued at 1:57 pm CST [2:27 pm EST] on Monday 16 February 2015
Headline: Tropical Cyclone Watch declared for communities in Arnhem Land and Cape York Peninsula

 

Areas Affected:
Warning Zone: None.

Watch Zone: Badu Island to Cape Keerweer in Queensland and Nhulunbuy to Cape Shield including Groote Eylandt in the Northern Territory.
 

Cancelled Zone: None.

Details of Tropical Low at 12:30 pm CST [1:00 pm EST]:

Intensity: Tropical Low, sustained winds near the centre of 45 kilometres per hour with wind gusts to 85 kilometres per hour.

Location: within 55 kilometres of 11.3 degrees South 140.2 degrees East, estimated to be 235 kilometres northwest of Weipa and 385 kilometres east northeast of Nhulunbuy.

Movement: northwest at 13 kilometres per hour.

The tropical low is expected to become slow moving overnight and may reach tropical cyclone intensity over the northern Gulf of Carpentaria during Tuesday.

 

Hazards:
GALES are not expected in coastal areas within the next 24 hours, however gales could develop later.
Recommended Action:
People between Badu Island and Cape Keerweer in Queensland should consider what action they will need to take if the cyclone threat increases.
- Information is available from your local government
- For cyclone preparedness and safety advice, visit Queensland's Disaster Management Services website (www.disaster.qld.gov.au)
- For emergency assistance call the Queensland Fire and Emergency Service (QFES) on 132 500 (for assistance with storm damage, rising flood water, fallen trees on buildings or roof damage).
The Territory Controller advises communities in the Northern Territory under Watch that now is the time to finalise your emergency kit, clear your yards and balconies, and commence home shelter preparations.
If you DO NOT have accommodation constructed to the Building Code or are unsure of your present accommodation, you should determine NOW where you will shelter. This may include arranging to shelter with family, friends or in public emergency shelters, or strong buildings, where available in your community.
This advice is issued to allow you sufficient time in which to take the necessary precautions before winds reach a dangerous level.
Please ensure that friends, family and neighbours have heard and understood this message, particularly new arrivals to the area. Further advice on cyclone emergencies in the Northern Territory is available at www.securent.nt.gov.au
Next Advice: The next advice will be issued by 5:00 pm CST Monday 16 February [5:30 pm EST Monday 16 February].

 

Issued at 2:32 pm CST Monday 16 February 2015. Refer to Tropical Cyclone Advice Number 1.

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JTWC has finally picked up on the system and did a sudden jump from a low to high possibility of formation. But they don't seem game as yet to say where it'll be heading.

WTPS21 PGTW 160600
MSGID/GENADMIN/JOINT TYPHOON WRNCEN PEARL HARBOR HI//
SUBJ/TROPICAL CYCLONE FORMATION ALERT//
RMKS/
1. FORMATION OF A SIGNIFICANT TROPICAL CYCLONE IS POSSIBLE WITHIN A 160 NM RADIUS OF 11.7S 139.5E WITHIN THE NEXT 12 TO 24 HOURS. AVAILABLE DATA DOES NOT JUSTIFY ISSUANCE OF NUMBERED TROPICAL CYCLONE WARNINGS AT THIS TIME. WINDS IN THE AREA ARE ESTIMATED TO BE 25 TO 30 KNOTS. METSAT IMAGERY AT 160000Z INDICATES THAT A CIRCULATION CENTRE IS LOCATED NEAR 11.3S 139.9E. THE SYSTEM IS MOVING NORTH-NORTHWESTWARD AT 08 KNOTS.

2. REMARKS: THE AREA OF CONVECTION PREVIOUSLY LOCATED NEAR 12.4S 142.4E, IS NOW LOCATED NEAR 11.3S 139.9E, APPROXIMATELY 325 NM NORTH OF MORNINGTON ISLAND, AUSTRALIA. ANIMATED MULTISPECTRAL SATELLITE IMAGERY DEPICTS A CONSOLIDATING LOW-LEVEL CIRCULATION CENTRE (LLCC) WITH FORMATIVE CONVECTIVE BANDING THAT HAS STARTED TO DEEPEN AND BECOME MORE DEFINED. A 160038Z TRMM 37GHZ MICROWAVE PASS ALSO REVEALED THE CONSOLIDATING NATURE OF THIS SYSTEM AS THE LLCC HAS INCREASED IN DEFINITION WHILE BANDING HAS IMPROVED. A 160036Z ASCAT PASS SHOWED INCREASED WINDS WITH 25 TO 30 KNOT WINDS WRAPPING ALONG THE WESTERN SEMI-CIRCLE. UPPER-LEVEL ANALYSIS REVEALS AN INCREASINGLY FAVORABLE ENVIRONMENT AS A POINT SOURCE HAS DEVELOPED OVER THE LLCC WHICH IS PROVIDING LOW (05 TO 10 KNOTS) VERTICAL WIND SHEAR AND GOOD MULTI-DIRECTIONAL OUTFLOW. ADDITIONALLY, SEA SURFACE TEMPERATURES IN THE GULF OF CARPENTARIA ARE EXTREMELY FAVORABLE FOR DEVELOPMENT (>30 DEGREES CELSIUS). MAXIMUM SUSTAINED SURFACE WINDS ARE ESTIMATED AT 25 TO 30 KNOTS. MINIMUM SEA LEVEL PRESSURE IS ESTIMATED TO BE NEAR 1000 MB. THE POTENTIAL FOR THE DEVELOPMENT OF A SIGNIFICANT TROPICAL CYCLONE WITHIN THE NEXT 24 HOURS IS HIGH.

3. THIS ALERT WILL BE REISSUED, UPGRADED TO WARNING OR CANCELLED BY 170600Z.//
NNNN

 

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System is currently situated South 11.0 East 140.1 and stationary, wind speed (10 minute) 30 knots (55 kph), central pressure 998 hPa. It is continuing to strengthen and should reach tropical cyclone strength in a couple of hours. The latest ACCESS-Global modelling shows it approaching Gove then turning back eastwards and dissipating in the south eastern Gulf of Carpentaria. GFS still has it crossing the coast just west of Gove.

AUSTRALIAN GOVERNMENT BUREAU OF METEOROLOGY
TROPICAL CYCLONE WARNING CENTRE DARWIN
TROPICAL CYCLONE FORECAST TRACK MAP
Tropical Low
Issued at 11:10 pm CST Monday 16 February 2015. Refer to Tropical Cyclone Advice Number 3.

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System is currently situated South 11.0 East 140.1 and stationary, wind speed (10 minute) 30 knots (55 kph), central pressure 998 hPa. It is continuing to strengthen and should reach tropical cyclone strength in a couple of hours. The latest ACCESS-Global modelling shows it approaching Gove then turning back eastwards and dissipating in the south eastern Gulf of Carpentaria. GFS still has it crossing the coast just west of Gove.

AUSTRALIAN GOVERNMENT BUREAU OF METEOROLOGY

TROPICAL CYCLONE WARNING CENTRE DARWIN

TROPICAL CYCLONE FORECAST TRACK MAP

Tropical Low

Issued at 11:10 pm CST Monday 16 February 2015. Refer to Tropical Cyclone Advice Number 3.

attachicon.gifinvest95P-advice03.png

The Bureau of Meteorology is definitely bullish on this one, may become a real threat if the current forecast would materialize.

 

Current satellite imagery loop shows that 95P is close to becoming a tropical cyclone (if it is not one as of yet):

 

post-20885-0-21065100-1424110566_thumb.g

Visible satellite loop of 95P

 

Source:

http://www.ssd.noaa.gov/PS/TROP/floaters/95P/imagery/vis_lalo-animated.gif

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Navy/NRL have renumbered the system 12P, so JTWC will be initiating advisories shortly. Finally, the Australian basin awakens! Unfortunately, if 12P strengthens as forecast, it'll become a pretty dangerous cyclone as it slips south further into the Gulf Of Carpentaria.

EDIT: BOM have now upgraded the system to Tropical Cyclone Lam, with winds of 40kts.

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JTWC disagreeing with BOM's southerly track into the GOC, with landfall near Gove instead. The steering currents are pretty weak currently, and makes the track forecast highly uncertain.

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Apparently there's been only 2 seasons in the last 50 years where the first cyclone to cross the Australian coast has done so this late into the season. Looking at some of the models here, there's an outside chance Lam won't even do so? Small, remote communities along the Gulf coastline.

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Yes, there's a fine balance between the ridge to the south and the monsoonal flow which has been keeping the system slow to stationary for a while creating a lot of uncertainty. Happened with TC Grant a few years back north of Cobourg Peninsula. When the ridge weakened Grant dropped south like a stone. Very little rain around the coastal crossing but massive flooding further inland.

ACCESS-Global still has Lam turning south but now staying to the western side of the Gulf and crossing around the Northern Territory border. JTWC is staying with the GFS track with the coastal crossing between Nhulunbuy and Milingimbi. (For some reason an updated GFS run doesn't seem to be accessible.)

At 1800 UTC 20150216 central pressure 993 hPa, position South 11.6 East 139.8, movement south west at 4 knots, wind (10 minute) 40 knots.

The latest track map shows a direct hit on Groote Eylandt
Issued at 7:59 am CST Tuesday 17 February 2015. Refer to Tropical Cyclone Advice Number 5.
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Lam has now strengthened to cat. 2 and is still moving slowly generally westwards.

ACCESS is sticking with the longer term southerly track whilst GFS still has it crossing over the north coast west of Nhulunbuy. And BOM looks like it's averaging the two models, with Lam coming in between Groote Eylandt and the mainland. Where Lam finally goes depends on how soon the ridge to the south loses its influence on steering.

At 0000 UTC 20150217 central pressure 985 hPa, position South 11.6 East 139.4, movement west at 4 knots, wind (10 minute) 50 knots

TROPICAL CYCLONE FORECAST TRACK MAP
Issued at 11:21 am CST Tuesday 17 February 2015. Refer to Tropical Cyclone Advice Number 6.
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From what the latest GFS is indicating it looks like Galiwinku is going to cop the brunt of it, although Nhulunbuy and Milingimbi aren't going to be much better off. Crossing the coast 109 knots. BOM seems to have abandoned ACCESS which is doggedly sticking to the collapse of the ridge and steering shifting to the south. Even GFS shows a southward component after landfall before it resumes south west, passing over around Mataranka.  JTWC is holding landfall to slightly east of the GFS track with no south component, only movement to the south west, but they lay this track with low confidence. Don't think anyone has any real confidence.

At 0600 UTC 20150217 central presure 984 hPa, position South 11.6 East 138.8, movement west at 6 knots, wind (10 minute) 55 knots.

TROPICAL CYCLONE FORECAST TRACK MAP
Issued at 5:04 pm CST Tuesday 17 February 2015. Refer to Tropical Cyclone Advice Number 8.
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Lam looks pretty well organised presently, with some very deep convection over the LLCC, with good banding features, and there have even been hints of an eye. Winds are up to 55kts according to JTWC. As has been stated, BOM's track forecast has shifted westwards, more in line with JTWC, though there are still differences. Lam will probably keep everyone guessing right until the end!

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Details of Tropical Cyclone Lam at 9:30 pm CST: [20150217]

Intensity: category 2, sustained winds near the centre of 100 kilometres per hour with wind gusts to 140 kilometres per hour.
Location: within 45 kilometres of 11.5 degrees South, 138.5 degrees East , 200 kilometres east northeast of Nhulunbuy Airport and 350 kilometres northeast of Alyangula .
Movement: west at 8 kilometres per hour .

Hazards:

GALES with gusts to 110 kilometres per hour are expected to develop in coastal areas between Cape Wessel and Cape Shield, including Nhulunbuy early on Wednesday before extending west to Goulburn Island and possibly south to Groote Eylandt later in the day.

VERY DESTRUCTIVE winds with gusts greater than 170 kilometres per hour may develop over the Gove Peninsula and northeast Wessel islands from midday Wednesday. VERY DESTRUCTIVE winds may extend further west to Milingimbi from late Wednesday, or possibly south to Cape Shield depending on the track the cyclone takes.

GALES may extend west to Croker Island or south to Port Roper overnight Wednesday or during Thursday depending on the track the cyclone takes.

Coastal residents between Elcho Island and Cape Shield, including Nhulunbuy are specifically warned of a VERY DANGEROUS STORM TIDE as the cyclone centre crosses the coast. Tides will rise significantly above the normal high tide, with DAMAGING WAVES and VERY DANGEROUS FLOODING.

HEAVY RAIN is likely to cause flooding of low-lying areas in the northeast Top End from Wednesday.

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Currently the system has a westerly tilt due to moderate easterly vertical wind shear. However, the shear is expected to ease, so with the development of 2 outflow channels and high sea surface temperatures rapid intensification is expected.

At 1200 UTC central pressure 983 hPa, movement west at 2 knots, wind (10 minute) 55 knots

TROPICAL CYCLONE FORECAST TRACK MAP
Issued at 11:11 pm CST Tuesday 17 February 2015. Refer to Tropical Cyclone Advice Number 10.
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Lam is still experiencing some easterly vertical wind shear but this is expected to decrease during the day.

Currently still cat. 2, at 1800 UTC 20150217 central pressure 981 hPa, position South 11.4 East 138.1, movement west north west at 4 knots, wind (10 minute) 55 knots, radius of maximum winds 15 nautical miles.

Gove Radar 2220 UTC 20150217
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Lam is still tracking a bit north of west but is expected to make its southward turn tomorrow as the ridge to the south weakens. The speed of movement has increased to 8 knots

The eye is currently close to Cape Wessel AWS. In the 24 hours to 9am it's recorded  191.8 mm rain, wind 95 kph gusting to 124 kph, pressure around 991.3 hPa.
TC Lam 18/00 UTC South 11.2     East 137.2
Cape Wessel AWS South 11.00     East 136.76

At 0000 UTC 20150218 central pressure 977 hPa, position South 11.2 East 137.2, movement west north west at 8 knots, wind (10 minute) 60 knots, radius of maximum winds 15 nautical miles.

AUSTRALIAN GOVERNMENT BUREAU OF METEOROLOGY
TROPICAL CYCLONE WARNING CENTRE DARWIN
Details of Tropical Cyclone Lam at 10:00 am CST:

Intensity: category 2, sustained winds near the centre of 110 kilometres per hour with wind gusts to 155 kilometres per hour.
Location: within 20 kilometres of 11.2 degrees South, 137.1 degrees East , 120 kilometres north northeast of Nhulunbuy Airport and 190 kilometres east northeast of Elcho Island .
Movement: west at 14 kilometres per hour .

Tropical Cyclone Lam is expected to continue intensifying as it moves towards the west parallel to the coast before turning towards the southwest overnight.

Hazards:

VERY DESTRUCTIVE winds with gusts greater than 170 kilometres per hour are expected to develop over the Wessel islands later today as the cyclone intensifies and are expected to extend onto the mainland coast between Elcho Island and west of Nhulunbuy on during Thursday. may also extend further west to Milingimbi overnight tonight. VERY DESTRUCTIVE winds may extend further west to Milingimbi later on Thursday if the cyclone takes a more westward track.

GALES may also extend further west to Croker Island or south to Port Roper on Friday depending on the track the cyclone takes.

Coastal residents between Elcho Island and Nhulunbuy are specifically warned of a VERY DANGEROUS STORM TIDE as the cyclone centre crosses the coast on Thursday. Tides will rise significantly above the normal high tide, with DAMAGING WAVES and VERY DANGEROUS FLOODING. A storm tide may be

Recommended Action:

The Territory Controller advises residents around from Elcho Island to Cape Shield, including Nhulunbuy, that PUBLIC SHELTERS ARE NOW OPEN. Now is the time to make final preparations to your home shelter area. If you DO NOT have accommodation constructed to the Building Code or are unsure of your present accommodation you should PROCEED IMMEDIATELY to shelter with family, friends, or one of the local emergency shelters. Take your emergency kit with you.

Private Sector businesses and organisations still open at this time are strongly advised to consider securing and closing their premises. Employers are reminded of their Duty of Care to ensure the safety of any employees still at work.

A CYCLONE IS APPROACHING AND PUBLIC SHELTERS IN COMMUNITIES FROM ELCHO ISLAND TO CAPE SHIELD, INCLUDING NHULUNBUY, ARE NOW OPEN. MAKE YOUR DECISION QUICKLY AS WINDS ARE SHORTLY EXPECTED TO REACH A DANGEROUS LEVEL.

The Territory Controller advises residents from Goulburn Island to Alyangula, including Groote Eyalndt, that now is the time to make final preparations to your home shelter or identify which public emergency shelter or strong building to use. You should now have your emergency kit complete and ready. DO NOT PROCEED TO PUBLIC EMERGENCY SHELTERS UNTIL ADVISED TO DO SO.

Communities under Watch are advised that now is the time to finalise your emergency kit, clear your yards and balconies, and commence home shelter preparations. If you DO NOT have accommodation constructed to the Building Code or are unsure of your present accommodation, you should determine NOW where you will shelter. This may include arranging to shelter with family, friends or in public emergency shelters, or strong buildings, where available in your community. This advice is issued to allow you sufficient time in which to take the necessary precautions before winds reach a dangerous level.

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Lam has been upgraded to severe tropical cyclone cat. 3. Cape Wessel AWS recorded central pressure of 971 hPa, wind 122 kph gusting to 170 kph. The system is expected to continue west south west for the next 12 to 18 hours.

At 0600 UTC 20150218 central pressure 971 hPa, position South 11.0 East 136.7, movement west north west at 5 knots, wind (10 minute) 65 knots, radius of maximum winds 15 nautical miles, radius of 64 knot winds 20 nautical miles.

TROPICAL CYCLONE FORECAST TRACK MAP
Issued at 5:07 pm CST Wednesday 18 February 2015.

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Lam isn't the best looking 65kt cyclone at present, definitely think some land interaction is taking it's toll here. As Lam moves further west, land interaction should decrease which should allow some more strengthening.

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Lam has commenced making its southward turn. There is still a tilt to the south west. The system has consolidated and shown a contraction of the eye wall and is undergoing rapid intensification. Landfall is expected between Milingimbi and Gapuwiyak at cat. 4 intensity.

At 1800 UTC 20150218 central pressure 965 hPa, position South 11.1 East 136.4, movement south south west at 3 knots, wind (10 minute) 75 knots, radius of maximum winds 15 nautical miles, radius of 64 knot winds 25 nautical miles

Gove radar 2100 UTC 20150218
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Lam is certainly looking much better this evening than it did earlier. Convection has fully wrapped around the LLCC again and significantly deepened. Winds are up to 75kts, with a 90kt peak expected just before landfall.

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At this stage it appears Lam is undergoing eye wall replacement and upper outflow has reduced. Some tilting is still occuring due to north easterly vertical wind shear. It's expected to impact the coast during tonight (Thursday/Friday) as a cat 3 or 4. The direction of the track will result in a direct hit on Galiwin'ku on the coast, and Ramingining about 25 kms in from the coast.

At 0000 UTC central pressure 966 hPa position South 11.3 East 136.1, movement west south west at 3 knots, wind (10 minute) 75 knots, radius of maximum winds 15 nautical miles, radius of 64 knot winds 25 nautical miles.

TROPICAL CYCLONE FORECAST TRACK MAP
Issued at 1:03 pm CST Thursday 19 February 2015.



Warruwi radar 0330 UTC 20150219

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Not sure what happened there, the image below should be up top, but they're self explanatory in relation to the text headlines (that should be) above them.

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The communities on Elcho Island have been evacuated ahead of TC Lam which is now cat 4. It's showing up well on 3 radars across the Top End. The cyclone has put Ngayawili AWS on Elcho Island out of action. There has been erratic movement but overall the motion is towards the south west. It's expected to have completed the move across the coast during tomorrow (Friday) morning.

At 1200 UTC 20150219 central pressure 943 hPa, position South 12.0 East 135.4, movement south west at 5 knots, wind (10 minute) 100 knots, radius of maximum winds 10 nautical miles, radius of 64 knot winds 20 nautical miles

TROPICAL CYCLONE FORECAST TRACK MAP
Issued at 10:02 pm CST Thursday 19 February 2015.
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Warruwi Radar 512 km 1254 UTC 20150219
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