Category Archives: Australian Region

Tropical Cyclone Owen Makes Landfall in Queensland

After making landfall on the southwest coast of the Gulf of Carpentaria, Tropical Cyclone Owen reversed course and it is now making landfall on the coast of Queensland between Kowanyama and the Gilbert River Mouth.  At 1:00 p.m. EST on Friday the center of Tropical Cyclone Owen was located at latitude 16.2°S and longitude 141.4°E which put it about 55 miles (85 km) south-southwest of Kowanyama, Australia.  Owen was moving toward the southeast at 16 m.p.h. (26 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 75 m.p.h. (120 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 90 m.p.h. (145 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 975 mb.

A Tropical Storm Warning was in effect for the portion of the coast from Karumba to Cape Keerweer, Queensland and adjacent coastal areas including Kowanyama, Pormpuraaw, Croydon and Palmerville.

Tropical Cyclone Owen moved quickly across the southern Gulf of Carpentaria during the past 24 hours.  The circulation around Owen reorganized after the center of circulation moved away from the southwest coast of the Gulf of Carpentaria.  An eye reformed at the center of circulation and more thunderstorms developed.  Tropical Cyclone Owen strengthened back into the equivalent of a hurricane/typhoon.  The circulation around Owen is small.  Winds to hurricane/typhoon force only extend out about 20 miles (35 km) from the center of circulation.  Winds to tropical storm force extend out about 100 miles (160 km) from the center.

Tropical Cyclone Owen will be capable of causing minor wind damage over a localized area near the center of circulation.  Locally heavy rain will fall along the track of Owen as it moves inland across Queensland.  On its anticipated track the center of Tropical Cyclone Owen is forecast to pass south of Cairns and it could be near Townsville in about 36 hours.  The rain will likely cause flooding in some locations.  A Flood Warning has been issued for the Jordan River.  Flood Watches have been issued for the Gulf of Carpentaria, south Cape York Peninsula and coastal catchments from Cape Tribulation to Rainbow Beach in Queensland.

Tropical Cyclone Owen Near Coast of Australia

The center of Tropical Cyclone Owen was near the coast of Australia on Wednesday.  At 4:00 p.m. EST on Wednesday the center of Tropical Cyclone Owen was located at latitude 15.2°S and longitude 136.1°E which put it about 55 miles (90 km) northwest of Port McArthur, Australia.  Owen was moving toward the southwest at 5 m.p.h. (8 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 75 m.p.h. (120 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 90 m.p.h. (145 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 978 mb.  Tropical Cyclone Owen was the equivalent of a hurricane/typhoon.

The center of Tropical Cyclone Owen was near the portion of the coast between Port Roper and Port McArthur in the Northern Territory of Australia.  Owen was producing winds to near hurricane/typhoon force.  It was dropping locally heavy rain over the southeastern coastal portions of the Northern Territory.

A Tropical Cyclone Warning was in effect for the portion of the coast between Alyangula, Northern Territory and Burketown, Queensland  including Groote Eylandt, Mornington Island and Borroloola.  A Tropical Cyclone Watch was in effect for the portion of the coast from Burketown to Aurukun, Northern Territory and adjacent inland areas including Pormpuraaw, Kowanyama and Karumba.  Flood Watches were in effect for the Gulf of Carpentaria, south Cape York Peninsula and North Tropical Coast catchments in Queensland.

Tropical Cyclone Owen strengthened and exhibited greater organization on Wednesday.  A small circular eye developed at the center of circulation.  A ring of strong thunderstorms surrounded the eye and the strongest winds were occurring in that ring of storms.  Several bands of showers and thunderstorms were revolving around the core of Tropical Cyclone Owen.  The strongest rainbands were over the Gulf of Carpentaria.  Storms around the core of Owen were generating upper level divergence which was pumping mass away to the southeast of the tropical cyclone.

The circulation around Tropical Cyclone Owen was relatively small.  Winds to hurricane/typhoon force extended out only about 20 miles (30 km) from the center of circulation.  Winds to tropical storm force extended out about 80 miles (130 km) from the center.

Tropical Cyclone Owen will move through an environment favorable for intensification for another 24 to 36 hours.  Owen will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperature is near 30°C.  An upper level trough over Western Australia and an upper level ridge northeast of Australia will combine to produce northwesterly winds which blow toward the top of the circulation.  Those winds will cause some vertical wind shear, but the shear will not be strong enough to prevent further intensification.  The center of Tropical Cyclone Own is close to the coast and part of the circulation is over land.  Owen could weaken during the next few hours, while the center is near land.  It should strengthen when the center moves back over the Gulf of Carpentaria.

Tropical Cyclone Owen is an area where the steering currents are weak and it is moving slowly toward the southwest.  The trough over Western Australia will start to steer Owen toward the east-southeast during the next 12 hours.  On its anticipated track the center of Tropical Cyclone Owen could pass just north of Port McArthur in about 12 hours.  Owen could pass north of Mornington Island in about 18 hours.  Tropical Cyclone Owen could approach the southeast of coast of the Gulf of Carpentaria in about 36 hours.  Owen is likely to be the equivalent of a hurricane/typhoon at that time.

Tropical Cyclone Owen will bring gusty winds and locally heavy rain to the southern portions of the Gulf of Carpentaria.  Owen will be capable of causing minor wind damage while it lingers near the southeast coast of the Northern Territory.  It will also drop locally heavy rain in coastal areas and flooding could occur.  Tropical Cyclone Owen will be stronger when it brings wind and rain to parts of Queensland.

Tropical Cyclone Owen Redevelops Over Gulf of Carpentaria

After meandering westward over the Coral Sea last week and crossing northern Queensland, Tropical Cyclone Owen redeveloped over the Gulf of Carpentaria on Tuesday.  At 10:00 a.m. EST on Tuesday the center of Tropical Cyclone Owen was located at latitude 14.9°S and longitude 138.4°E which put it about 135 miles (215 km) north-northwest of Mornington Island, Australia.  Owen was moving toward the west-northwest at 7 m.p.h. (11 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 45 m.p.h. (75 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 60 m.p.h. (95 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 993 mb.

The circulation around Tropical Cyclone Owen exhibited increased organization after it moved over the Gulf of Carpentaria and the Australian Bureau of Meteorology reclassified the system as a tropical cyclone on Tuesday.  A band of showers and thunderstorms was wrapping around the southern and western sides of the center of circulation and the strongest winds were occurring in that band of storms.  Other bands of showers and thunderstorms were strengthening over the Gulf of Carpentaria.  Storms near the center of circulation started to generate upper level divergence which was pumping mass away from the tropical cyclone.

A Tropical Cyclone Warning is in effect for the portion of the coast from Cape Shield, Northern Territory to Burketown, Queensland including Groote Eylandt and Mornington Island.

Tropical Cyclone Owen will move through an environment favorable for intensification during the next several days.  Owen will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperature is near 30°C.  It will move in an area between an upper level ridge north of Australia and a larger upper level ridge over the South Pacific Ocean where the upper level winds are weaker.  There will be some vertical wind shear, but the wind shear will not be strong enough to prevent intensification.  Tropical Cyclone Owen will intensify during the next two days and it could strengthen into the equivalent of a hurricane/typhoon.

The ridge north of Australia will steer Tropical Cyclone Owen toward the west-northwest during the next 24 hours.  On its anticipated track Tropical Cyclone Owen could be near Groote Eylandt in about 24 hours.  An upper level trough over Western Australia will move eastward and the trough will cause the winds in the steering levels to weaken in a day or so.  Owen could drift slowly southward for 12 to 24 hours when that happens.  Eventually, westerly winds blowing around the northern end of the trough are forecast to turn Tropical Cyclone Owen back toward the east.

Tropical Cyclone Owen could bring gusty winds and drop locally heavy rain over Groote Eylandt when it passes nearby.  If Owen drifts southward as expected, it could also bring gusty winds and heavy rain to the western coast of the Gulf of Carpentaria near Port McArthur.

Former Tropical Cyclone Owen Drops Rain on Northern Queensland

After meandering westward across the Coral Sea during the past week a low pressure system formerly designated as Tropical Cyclone Owen dropped rain on northern Queensland on Sunday.  At 7:00 p.m. EST on Sunday the center of former Tropical Cyclone Owen was located at latitude 15.7°S and longitude 144.5°E which put it about 75 miles (120 km) west of Cairns, Australia.  Owen was moving toward the west-northwest at 7 m.p.h.  The maximum sustained wind speed was 25 m.p.h. (40 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 35 m.p.h. (55 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 1006 mb.

Although it is no longer formally designated as a tropical cyclone, the low pressure center that was Tropical Cyclone Owen maintains a distinct low level center of circulation.  Bands of showers and thunderstorms are revolving around the center.  Some of those bands are moving inland over northern Queensland and they are dropping locally heavy rainfall.  Flooding could develop in areas that receive persistent heavy rain.

Flood Watches are in effect for the Mulgrave River, Russell River, Johnstone River, Murray River, Tully River, and Herbert River.

Former Tropical Storm Owen is forecast to move toward the west-northwest across the Cape York Peninsula.  It could emerge over the Gulf of Carpentaria early in the week.  There is a possibility that the low pressure system could strengthen when it moves back over water.

 

Tropical Cyclone Owen Develops Over the Coral Sea

Tropical Cyclone Owen developed over the Coral Sea on Sunday.  Thunderstorms developed near the center of a tropical low over the Coral Sea and the Australian Bureau of Meteorology designated the system as Tropical Cyclone Owen.  At 4:00 p.m. EST on Sunday the center of Tropical Cyclone Owen was located at latitude 15.4°S and longitude 154.9°E which put it about 615 miles (990 km) east of Cairns, Australia.  Owen was moving toward the south at 7 m.p.h. (11 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 50 m.p.h. (80 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 65 m.p.h. (105 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 996 mb.

The circulation of Tropical Cyclone Owen became better organized on Sunday.  A band of thunderstorms wrapped around the eastern and southern sides of the center of circulation.  Additional bands of showers and thunderstorms were developing in the eastern half of the circulation.  Bands in the western half of Tropical Cyclone Owen consisted primarily of showers and lower clouds.  Storms near the center of circulation were generating upper level divergence which was pumping mass away to the east of the tropical cyclone.

Tropical Cyclone Owen will move through an environment marginally favorable for intensification during the next 24 to 36 hours.  Owen will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperature is near 29°C.  It will move through a region where the upper level winds will blow from the west.  Those winds will blow toward the top of the circulation and they are already causing moderate vertical wind shear.  The wind shear is the likely reason why most of the stronger thunderstorms are developing in the eastern half of the circulation.  The westerly winds will inhibit upper level divergence to the west of the tropical cyclone and the wind shear will limit intensification.  Tropical Cyclone Owen could strengthen during the next day or two, but the wind shear is likely to weaken Owen later this week.

Tropical Cyclone Owen will move north of a subtropical ridge in the middle troposphere.  The ridge is forecast to turn Owen toward the west and to steer the tropical cyclone toward the west during the next few days.  On its anticipated track Tropical Cyclone Owen is forecast to move slowly westward during the next several days.  Owen could be east of Willis Island in three or four days.

Tropical Cyclone Iris Weakens East of Queensland

Tropical Cyclone Iris weakened over the Coral Sea east of Queensland on Wednesday.  At 11:00 p.m. EDT on Wednesday the center of Tropical Cyclone Iris was located at latitude 19.6°S and longitude 152.3°E which put it about 230 miles (370 km) east-northeast of Mackay, Australia.  Iris was moving toward the east-southeast at 4 m.p.h. (6 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 45 m.p.h. (75 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 60 m.p.h. (95 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 990 mb.

An upper level ridge east of Australia was producing strong northwesterly winds which were blowing toward the top of Tropical Cyclone Iris.  Those winds were causing strong vertical wind shear which weakened Iris on Wednesday.  The stronger thunderstorms were occurring in bands southeast of the center of circulation.  The bands in other parts of the circulation consisted primarily of showers and low clouds.  The wind shear was not quite strong enough to blow the top off of the circulation, but the shear was preventing upper level divergence on the northern side of Tropical Cyclone Iris.

Tropical Cyclone Iris will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperature is near 28°C.  So, there is enough energy in the upper ocean to support a tropical cyclone.  However, the upper level ridge will continue to cause strong vertical wind shear and Tropical Cyclone Iris is likely to slowly weaken during the next several days.

Tropical Cyclone Iris is moving slowly toward the east-southeast.  If the vertical wind shear blows the top half of the circulation away to the southeast, then Iris would be steered by the winds in the lower atmosphere.  A high pressure system in the lower atmosphere over Australia would begin to steer Tropical Cyclone Iris back toward the northwest.  On its anticipated track the center of Tropical Cyclone Iris is expected to remain east of Queensland.  Rainbands on the western periphery have occasionally brought rain to the coast of Queensland, but most of the rain is falling over the ocean.

Tropical Cyclone Iris Prompts Warnings for Queensland

The proximity of Tropical Cyclone Iris prompted the Australian Bureau of Meteorology to issued Warnings and Watches for the east coast of Queensland on Monday.  A Warning was issued for the portion of the coast from Ayr to Sarina including Mackay and the Whitsunday Islands.  A Watch was issued for the portion of the coast from Sarina to St. Lawrence.  At 11:00 p.m. EDT on Monday the center of Tropical Cyclone Iris was located at latitude 17.1°S and longitude 149.0°E which put it about 210 miles (335 km) northeast of Townsville, Australia.  Iris was moving toward the southeast at 3 m.p.h. (4 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 60 m.p.h. (95 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 75 m.p.h. (120 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 994 mb.

The circulation of Tropical Cyclone Iris was asymmetrical.  Most of the showers and thunderstorms were located south and east of the center of circulation.  The bands north and west of the center consisted primarily of low clouds and showers.  Tropical Cyclone Iris was near the western end of an upper level ridge.  The ridge was producing northwesterly winds which were blowing toward the top of the circulation.  Those winds were producing moderate vertical wind shear and they were probably responsible for the asymmetrical distribution of thunderstorms.

Tropical Cyclone Iris will be moving through an environment marginally favorable for intensification during the next 48 hours.  Iris will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperature is near 29°C.  However, the upper level ridge will continue to produce moderate vertical wind shear.  The shear will be strong enough to inhibit intensification.  If the strength of the upper level winds slows, then Tropical Cyclone Iris could strengthen, but if the upper level winds get faster, then Iris will weaken.  The forecast is for slow intensification, but there is high uncertainty about the intensity forecast.

The subtropical ridge east of Iris is steering Tropical Cyclone Iris slowly toward the southeast.  A general motion toward the southeast is expected to continue for several more days.  On its anticipated track the center of Tropical Cyclone Iris is expected to stay east of the coast of Queensland.  However, Tropical Cyclone Iris could come close enough to the coast to bring gusty winds and locally heavy rain to locations under Warnings and Watches.

Tropical Cyclone Iris Redevelops East of Queensland.

Tropical Cyclone Iris redeveloped east of Queensland on Sunday night.  At 11:00 p.m. EDT on Sunday the center of Tropical Cyclone Iris was located at latitude 16.9°S and longitude 148.7°E which put it about 190 miles (310 km) east of Cairns, Australia.  Iris was moving toward the southwest at 8 m.p.h. (13 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 45 m.p.h. (75 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 60 m.p.h. (95 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 995 mb.

Tropical Cyclone Iris formed over the Coral Sea last week but wind strong vertical shear quickly weakened Iris into an area of low pressure.  The low pressure system meandered over the Coral Sea east of Australia during the past few days.  More thunderstorms developed near the center of circulation on Sunday and the Australian Bureau of Meteorology designated the system as Tropical Cyclone Iris again.

The circulation around Tropical Cyclone Iris was still reorganizing on Sunday night.  A distinct low level center of circulation was evident on visible satellite images.  More thunderstorms were developing near the center.  A primary rainband wrapped around the northern, eastern and southern sides of the center of circulation.  Bands northwest of the center consisted mainly of showers and low clouds.  Storms near the core of the circulation generated upper level divergence which was pumping mass away to the east of the tropical cyclone.

Tropical Cyclone Iris will move through an environment somewhat favorable for intensification on Monday.  Iris will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperature is 29°C.  It is moving around the western end of an upper level ridge.  The ridge is producing northwesterly winds which were blowing toward the top of the circulation.  Those winds were causing moderate vertical wind shear and they may have been the reason for the lack of strong rainbands northwest of the center of circulation.  The wind shear is likely to inhibit intensification, but it probably won’t prevent Tropical Cyclone Iris from intensifying on Monday.

Tropical Cyclone Iris was moving around the western end of a subtropical ridge which was steering Iris toward the southwest.  Iris will likely move more toward the south and then southeast as it rounds the western end of the ridge.  On its anticipated track Tropical Cyclone Iris is expected to remain east of Queensland.

Elsewhere over the South Pacific Ocean Tropical Cyclone Josie was swirling south of Fiji.  At 11:00 p.m. EDT on Sunday the center of Tropical Storm Josie was located at latitude 21.1°S and longitude 178.1°E which put it about 185 miles (300 km) south of Suva, Fiji.  Josie was moving toward the south-southeast at 14 m.p.h. (22 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 40 m.p.h. (65 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 50 m.p.h. (80 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 999 mb.

Tropical Cyclone Nora Makes Landfall in Queensland

Tropical Cyclone Nora made landfall on the coast of Queensland near Pormpuraaw on Saturday.  At 5:00 p.m. EDT on Saturday the center of Tropical Cyclone Nora was located at latitude 15.8°S and longitude 141.8°E which put it about 30 miles (50 km) south of Kowanyama, Australia.  Nora was moving toward the south-southeast at 15 m.p.h. (24 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 75 m.p.h. (120 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 90 m.p.h. (145 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 979 mb.

Tropical Cyclone Nora moved across the northern Gulf of Carpentaria and made landfall near Pormpuraaw earlier on Saturday.  A weather station at Kowanyama, which is south of the original landfall recorded a sustained wind speed of 44 m.p.h. (70 km/h) and a wind gust of 62 m.p.h. (100 km/h).  The station also recorded five inches (128 mm) of rain.

Tropical Cyclone Nora is forecast to move southward near the coast of the Gulf of Carpentaria for another 12 to 18 hours.  Nora is then expected to move westward across the southern end of the Gulf of Carpentaria.  The Australian Bureau of Meteorology was maintaining a warning for the portion of the coast from Pormpuraaw to Karumba.  A Watch was in effect for the portion of the coast from Karumba to the border between Queensland and the Northern Territory.  In addition to bringing gusty winds to the coast of Queensland, Tropical Cyclone Nora will drop locally heavy rain.  The heavy rain could cause flash flooding in some places.

Tropical Cyclone Nora Develops Rapidly North of Australia

Tropical Cyclone Nora developed rapidly north of Australia over the Arafura Sea on Thursday.  At 11:00 p.m. EDT on Thursday the center of Tropical Cyclone Nora was located at latitude 10.0°S and longitude 136.8°E which put it about 160 miles (260 km) north of Nhulunbuy, Australia.  Nora was moving toward the east at 3 m.p.h. (5 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 60 m.p.h. (95 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 75 m.p.h. (120 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 986 mb.

A center of circulation organized quickly on Thursday in an area of thunderstorms over the Arafura Sea and the Australian Bureau of Meteorology designated the system as Tropical Cyclone Nora.  A primary rainband wrapped around the western and northern side of the center of circulation.  An eye appeared to be forming at the center of Tropical Cyclone Nora.  Bands of showers and thunderstorms were revolving around the core of the circulation.  Storms around the core were generating well developed upper level divergence which was pumping mass away from the tropical cyclone.  The removal of mass was allowing the surface pressure to decrease rapidly and the wind speeds were increasing in response.

The Australian Bureau of Meteorology issued Warnings for the portions of the coast from Elcho Island to Cape Shield including Cape Wessel and from Pormpuraaw to Thursday Island.  A Watch was in effect for the portion of the coast from Pormpuraaw to the border between the Northern Territory and Queensland including Mornington Island.

Tropical Cyclone Nora will move through an environment very favorable for intensification during the next 48 hours.  Nora will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperature is near 30°C.  It will move through an area where the upper level winds are weak and there is little vertical wind shear.  Nora is likely to intensify rapidly and it is likely to become the equivalent of a hurricane/typhoon within 24 hours.  Tropical Cyclone Nora could become the equivalent of a major hurricane within 24 to 48 hours.

Tropical Cyclone Nora was moving through an area where steering winds are weak and it was moving slowly toward the east.  A subtropical ridge east of Australia is expected to strengthen.  The ridge is forecast to steer Nora more toward the south in 12 to 24 hours.  On its anticipated track Tropical Cyclone Nora is expected to move over the Gulf of Carpentaria toward the coast of Queensland.  Nora could strengthen into a dangerous tropical cyclone.

Elsewhere, Tropical Cyclone Marcus continued to churn west of Australia.  At 11:00 p.m. EDT on Thursday the center of Tropical Cyclone Marcus was located at latitude 20.6°S and longitude 106.0°E which put it about 555 miles (895 km) west-northwest of Learmonth, Australia.  Marcus was moving toward the south at 13 m.p.h. (21 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 120 m.p.h. (195 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 150 m.p.h. (240 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 951 mb.