Tropical Cyclone Wallace Develops North of Western Australia

Tropical Cyclone Wallace developed over the Timor Sea north of Western Australia on Friday.  At 2:00 p.m. EDT on Friday the center of Tropical Cyclone Wallace was located at latitude 11.7°S and longitude 125.7°E which put it about 280 miles (440 km) north-northeast of Kuri Bay, Australia.  Wallace was moving toward the west 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 997 mb.

The Australian Bureau of Meteorology posted a Tropical Cyclone Warning from Kalumburu to Beagle Bay.

More thunderstorms developed near the center of a Tropical Low over the Timor Sea on Friday and the Australian Bureau of Meteorology designated the system as Tropical Cyclone Wallace.  The distribution of thunderstorms in the circulation around Wallace was asymmetrical.  Most of the thunderstorms were occurring west of the center of circulation and in bands in the western half of the tropical cyclone.  Bands in the eastern half of of Tropical Cyclone Wallace consisted primarily of showers and lower clouds.  Winds to tropical storm force extended out about 150 miles (240 km) from the center of circulation.

Tropical Cyclone Wallace was moving north of an upper level ridge.  The ridge was producing strong easterly winds which were causing significant vertical wind shear.  Those winds and the shear were probably the cause of the asymmetrical distribution of thunderstorms.  Storms west of the center of circulation were generating upper level divergence which was pumping mass away to the west of Tropical Cyclone Wallace.

Tropical Cyclone Wallace may move into an area more favorable for intensification during the next day or two.  Wallace could move into an area where the upper level winds are not quite as strong.  Tropical Cyclone Wallace will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperature is near 29°C.  So, if it moves into an area where the shear is less, then Tropical Cyclone Wallace is likely to strengthen.  There is a chance Wallace could intensify into the equivalent of a hurricane/typhoon during the next two or three days.

Tropical Cyclone Wallace will move around the northwestern end of a subtropical ridge over Australia.  The ridge will steer Wallace toward the west-southwest during the next several days.  On its anticipated track the core of Tropical Cyclone Wallace is forecast to stay north of the coast of Western Australia during the next few days.