Rapidly Intensifying Tropical Cyclone Trevor Nears Cape York Peninsula

Rapidly intensifying Tropical Cyclone Trevor neared the Cape York Peninsula on Monday.  At 5:00 p.m. EDT on Monday the center of Tropical Cyclone Trevor was located at latitude 13.0°S and longitude 144.3°E which put it about 80 miles (130 km) east of Lockhart River, Australia.  Trevor was moving toward the west-southwest at 5 m.p.h. (8 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 105 m.p.h. (170 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 125 m.p.h. (205 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 955 mb.

The Australian Bureau of Meteorology issued Tropical Cyclone Warnings for the portion of the east coast of the Cape York Peninsula from Orford Ness to Cape Flattery, from Mapoon to Pormpuraaw on the west coast of the peninsula and for inland locations between the two coasts.

Tropical Cyclone Trevor rapidly intensified into the equivalent of a hurricane/typhoon on Monday.  An eye with a diameter of 15 miles (24 km) developed at the center of circulation.  The eye was surround by a ring of strong thunderstorms and the strongest winds were occurring in that ring of storms.  Bands of showers and thunderstorms were revolving around the core of Tropical Cyclone Trevor.  Storms near the core were generating strong upper level divergence which was pumping mass away from the tropical cyclone in all directions.

The circulation around Tropical Cyclone Trevor was relatively small.  Winds to hurricane/typhoon force extended out about 30 miles (50 km) from the center of circulation.  Winds to tropical storm force extended out about 90 miles (145 km) from the center.  The Hurricane Intensity Index (HII) for Tropical Cyclone Trevor was 17.8.  The Hurricane Size Index (HSI) was 11.0 and the Hurricane Wind Intensity Size Index (HWISI) was 28.8.

Tropical Cyclone Trevor will remain in an environment favorable for intensification for another 12 hours until it makes landfall.  Trevor will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperature is near 30°C.  It will move through a region where the upper level winds are weak and there will be little vertical wind shear.  Tropical Cyclone Trevor could intensify into the equivalent of a major hurricane before it makes landfall.  It will take Trevor about 24 hours to cross the Cape York Peninsula.  Tropical Cyclone Trevor will weaken during that time.  Trevor will emerge over the Gulf of Carpentaria in about 36 hours and it will strengthen again after it gets back over water.

Tropical Cyclone Trevor will move around the northwestern portion of a subtropical ridge.  The ridge will steer Trevor toward the west-southwest.  On its anticipated track Tropical Cyclone Trevor will make landfall near or just to the south of Lockhart River in about 12 hours.    Trevor is forecast to move westward across the Cape York Peninsula.  it is likely to emerge over the Gulf of Carpentaria between Weipa and Aurukun in about 36 hours.  Tropical Cyclone Trevor will be capable of causing major damage.  It will bring strong winds and a storm surge to the area around Lockhart River.  Trevor will drop locally heavy rain over parts of the Cape York Peninsula and flooding could occur in some locations.  Tropical Cyclone Trevor could threaten the Northern Territory of Australia later this week.