Tropical Cyclone Wallace Churns Northwest of Australia

Tropical Cyclone Wallace continued to churn northwest of Australia on Sunday.  At 11:00 p.m. EDT on Sunday the center of Tropical Cyclone Wallace was located at latitude 15.3°S and longitude 116.4°E which put it about 435 miles (700 km) north of Karratha, Australia.  Wallace was moving toward the southwest at 11 m.p.h. (17 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 65 m.p.h. (105 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 80 m.p.h. (130 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 987 mb.

The circulation around Tropical Cyclone Wallace exhibited signs of greater organization on Sunday.  The inner end of a band of showers and thunderstorms wrapped around the southern and western sides of the center of circulation.  More thunderstorms formed in other bands that were revolving around the core of Tropical Cyclone Wallace.  Storms near the core were generating upper level divergence which was pumping mass away to the west and south of the tropical cyclone.  Winds to tropical storm force extended out about 140 miles (220 km) from the center of circulation.

Tropical Cyclone Wallace will move through an environment somewhat favorable for intensification during the next 24 hours.  Wallace will move over water where Sea Surface Temperature is near 28°C.  It will move near the western end of an upper level ridge over northern Australia.  The ridge will produce easterly winds which will cause moderate vertical wind shear.  The shear will limit intensification, but it may not be great enough to prevent Tropical Cyclone Wallace from getting stronger.  Wallace could strengthen into the equivalent of a hurricane/typhoon during the next 24 hours.

The ridge over northern Australia will steer Tropical Cyclone Wallace toward the west-southwest during the next few days.  On its anticipated track Wallace is forecast to remain north of Western Australia.