Tropical Cyclone Marcus Brings Wind and Rain to Darwin

Tropical Cyclone Marcus brought wind and rain to Darwin, Australia on Friday night.  A weather station at Darwin Harbor recorded a wind gust to 80 m.p.h. (130 km/h).  At 11:00 p.m. EDT on Friday the center of Tropical Cyclone Marcus was located at latitude 12.7°S and longitude 130.7°E which put it about 20 miles (30 km) southwest of Darwin, Australia.  Marcus was moving toward the southwest at 13 m.p.h. (21 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 60 m.p.h. (95 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 80 m.p.h. (130 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 982 mb.  The Australian Bureau of Meteorology issued a Warning for the portion of the coast from Cape Hotham to Mitchell Plateau including Darwin and the Tiwi Islands.  A Watch was issued for the portion of the coast from Cockatoo Island to Mitchell Plateau.

Tropical Cyclone Marcus intensified as it approached Darwin.  An eye developed at the center of circulation and a ring of strong thunderstorms surrounded the eye.  The strongest winds were occurring in that ring of storms.  Bands of showers and thunderstorms were revolving around the core of the circulation.  Storms around the core were generating upper level divergence which was pumping away mass from the tropical cyclone.

Tropical Cyclone Marcus will move through an area favorable for intensification during the next 24 hours.  Marcus will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperature is near 30°C.  An upper level ridge over Australia is producing easterly winds which are blowing toward the top of the circulation.  Those winds are creating some vertical wind shear, but the shear is not strong enough to prevent intensification.  Tropical Cyclone Marcus could strengthen into the equivalent of a hurricane/typhoon when it moves over the Timor Sea on Saturday.

Tropical Cyclone Marcus was being steered toward the southwest by the ridge over Australia and the southwesterly motion is expected to continue.  On its anticipated path the center of Tropical Cyclone Marcus will move across the Timor Sea on Saturday.  Marcus could approach the north coast of Western Australia east of Kalumburu in about 24 hours.