Tag Archives: Arafura Sea

Tropical Cyclone Nora Develops Rapidly North of Australia

Tropical Cyclone Nora developed rapidly north of Australia over the Arafura Sea on Thursday.  At 11:00 p.m. EDT on Thursday the center of Tropical Cyclone Nora was located at latitude 10.0°S and longitude 136.8°E which put it about 160 miles (260 km) north of Nhulunbuy, Australia.  Nora was moving toward the east at 3 m.p.h. (5 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 60 m.p.h. (95 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 75 m.p.h. (120 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 986 mb.

A center of circulation organized quickly on Thursday in an area of thunderstorms over the Arafura Sea and the Australian Bureau of Meteorology designated the system as Tropical Cyclone Nora.  A primary rainband wrapped around the western and northern side of the center of circulation.  An eye appeared to be forming at the center of Tropical Cyclone Nora.  Bands of showers and thunderstorms were revolving around the core of the circulation.  Storms around the core were generating well developed upper level divergence which was pumping mass away from the tropical cyclone.  The removal of mass was allowing the surface pressure to decrease rapidly and the wind speeds were increasing in response.

The Australian Bureau of Meteorology issued Warnings for the portions of the coast from Elcho Island to Cape Shield including Cape Wessel and from Pormpuraaw to Thursday Island.  A Watch was in effect for the portion of the coast from Pormpuraaw to the border between the Northern Territory and Queensland including Mornington Island.

Tropical Cyclone Nora will move through an environment very favorable for intensification during the next 48 hours.  Nora will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperature is near 30°C.  It will move through an area where the upper level winds are weak and there is little vertical wind shear.  Nora is likely to intensify rapidly and it is likely to become the equivalent of a hurricane/typhoon within 24 hours.  Tropical Cyclone Nora could become the equivalent of a major hurricane within 24 to 48 hours.

Tropical Cyclone Nora was moving through an area where steering winds are weak and it was moving slowly toward the east.  A subtropical ridge east of Australia is expected to strengthen.  The ridge is forecast to steer Nora more toward the south in 12 to 24 hours.  On its anticipated track Tropical Cyclone Nora is expected to move over the Gulf of Carpentaria toward the coast of Queensland.  Nora could strengthen into a dangerous tropical cyclone.

Elsewhere, Tropical Cyclone Marcus continued to churn west of Australia.  At 11:00 p.m. EDT on Thursday the center of Tropical Cyclone Marcus was located at latitude 20.6°S and longitude 106.0°E which put it about 555 miles (895 km) west-northwest of Learmonth, Australia.  Marcus was moving toward the south at 13 m.p.h. (21 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 120 m.p.h. (195 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 150 m.p.h. (240 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 951 mb.