Tropical Cyclone Kimi Forms Near Queensland

Tropical Storm Kimi formed near the coast of Queensland on Saturday night. At 10:00 p.m. EST on Saturday the center of Tropical Cyclone Kimi was located at latitude 14.9°S and longitude 146.4°E which put it about 145 miles (235 km) north-northeast of Cairns, Australia. Kimi was moving toward the southwest at 6 m.p.h. (9 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 998 mb.

A Warning was issued for the portion of the coast from Cape Melville to Cardwell. The Warning included Cooktown, Port Douglas and Cairns.

The circulation around a small low pressure system near the coast of Queensland strengthened quickly on Saturday night and the Australian Bureau of Meteorology designated the system as Tropical Cyclone Kimi. The circulation around Kimi was small. Winds to tropical storm force extended out 60 miles (95 km) from the center of circulation. Storms near the center generated upper level divergence which pumped mass away from the tropical cyclone. Bands of showers and thunderstorms were revolving around the center of Kimi.

Tropical Cyclone Kimi will move through an environment favorable for intensification during the next 24 hours. Kimi will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperature is near 28°C. It will move under the axis of an upper level ridge east of Australia. The winds are weak near the axis of the ridge and there will be little vertical wind shear. Tropical Cyclone Kimi is likely to strengthen during the next 24 hours. Kimi could strengthen rapidly because the circulation is small.

Tropical Cyclone Kimi will move around the northwestern part of a high pressure system east of Australia. The high will steer Kimi toward the southwest during the next 24 hours. On its anticipated track Tropical Cyclone Kimi will approach the coast of Queensland between Cooktown and Port Douglas in less than 24 hours. Kimi could be the equivalent of a hurricane/typhoon or a strong tropical storm when it approaches the coast.