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Tropical Cyclone Ann Strengthens Over Coral Sea

Tropical Cyclone Ann strengthened over the Coral Sea on Sunday.  At 11:00 p.m. EDT on Sunday the center of Tropical Cyclone Ann was located at latitude 15.4°S and longitude 153.6°E which put it about 565 miles (910 km) east of Cairns, Australia.  Ann was moving toward the west-northwest at 15 m.p.h. (24 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 987 mb.

The circulation around Tropical Cyclone Ann exhibited greater organization on Sunday.  There were indications on satellite images that a cloud filled eye might be trying to form at the center of circulation.  A broken ring of thunderstorms surrounded the eye and the strongest winds were occurring in that ring of storms.  Several bands of showers and thunderstorms were revolving around the core of Tropical Cyclone Ann.  Storms near the core were generating upper level divergence which was pumping mass away from the tropical cyclone.  Winds to tropical storm force extended out about 100 miles (160 km) from the center of circulation.

Tropical Cyclone Ann will be moving through an environment that contains factors favorable for intensification and a factor that will inhibit potential intensification.  Ann will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperature is near 28°C.  So, there will be sufficient energy in the upper ocean to support intensification.  Tropical Cyclone Ann will move north of an upper level ridge.  The ridge will produce easterly winds which will blow toward the top of the circulation.  Those winds will cause some vertical wind shear, but the shear will not be strong enough to prevent intensification.  Tropical Cyclone Ann is surrounded by drier more stable air and the drier air is the factor that will inhibit intensification.  So far, the circulation around Ann has kept the drier air outside the tropical cyclone.  If the drier air remains outside the circulation, then Tropical Cyclone Ann would have a chance to strengthen.  However, if the drier air gets pulled into the circulation, then Ann will weaken.  The higher probability is that Tropical Cyclone Ann could maintain its intensity or weaken slowly during the next day or two depending on what happens to the drier air.

Tropical Cyclone Ann will move north of an area of high pressure, which will steer the tropical cyclone toward the west-northwest.  On its anticipated track Ann will approach the Cape York Peninsula north of Coen in less than 48 hours.  Tropical Cyclone Ann could bring gusty winds and locally heavy rain to northern Queensland.

Tropical Cyclone Ann Forms Over Coral Sea

Tropical Cyclone Ann formed over the Coral Sea on Saturday.  At 5:00 p.m. EDT on Saturday the center of Tropical Cyclone Ann was located at latitude 16.3°S and longitude 158.7°E which put it about 875 miles (1410 km) east of Cairns, Australia.  Ann was moving toward the west at 5 m.p.h. (8 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 40 m.p.h. (65 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 50 m.p.h. (80 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 999 mb.

A distinct low level center of circulation became more evident in satellite images of a low pressure system over the eastern Coral Sea on Saturday and the system was designated as Tropical Cyclone Ann.  A rainband wrapped around the southern and western sides of the center of circulation.  A microwave satellite image indicated that the band may have wrapped completely around the center in the middle levels of the circulation.  Storms near the center of circulation began to generate upper level divergence which was pumping mass away from the tropical cyclone.  The circulation around Tropical Cyclone Ann was relatively small.  Winds to tropical storm force extended out about 85 miles (135 km) from the center of circulation in the southern half of Ann.

Tropical Cyclone Ann will move through an environment somewhat favorable for intensification during the next day or two.  Ann will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperature is near 28.5°C.  It will move south of an upper level ridge.  The ridge will produce easterly winds which will cause some vertical wind shear.  The shear will inhibit intensification, but it is not likely to be strong enough to prevent intensification.  Tropical Cyclone Ann is likely to intensify during the next 24 hours.

The ridge will steer Tropical Cyclone Ann toward the west-northwest during the next two to three days.  On its anticipated track Tropical Cyclone Ann will approach the Cape York Peninsula in northern Queensland in about 72 hours.  Ann could bring gusty winds and locally heavy rain.

Elsewhere around the tropics in the southern hemisphere, Tropical Cyclone Lili was weakening near the coast of East Timor.  At 5:00 p.m. EDT on Saturday the center of Tropical Cyclone Lili was located at latitude 9.1°S and longitude 126.8°E which put it about 120 miles (195 km) east-northeast of Suai, East Timor.  Lili was moving toward the west at 4 m.p.h. (6 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 35 m.p.h. (55 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 45 m.p.h. (75 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 1000 mb.

Tropical Cyclone Mona Turns Back Toward Fiji

Tropical Cyclone Mona turned back toward Fiji on Saturday.  At 10:00 p.m. EST on Saturday the center of Tropical Cyclone Mona was located at latitude 14.9°S and longitude 179.2°E which put it about 250 miles (400 km) north of Suva, Fiji.  Mona was moving toward the east-southeast at 16 m.p.h. (26 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 40 m.p.h. (65 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 50 m.p.h. (80 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 1002 mb.

After being strongly sheared and making a slow clockwise loop on Friday, Tropical Cyclone Mona resumed a course toward Fiji on Saturday.  An upper level trough west of Fiji was producing northwesterly winds which were blowing toward the top of Tropical Cyclone Mona.  Those winds were causing moderate vertical wind shear and they were also causing the distribution of thunderstorms around Mona to be asymmetrical.  The strongest thunderstorms and winds were occurring in bands southeast of the center of circulation.  Bands in the other parts of the circulation consisted primarily of showers and lower clouds.

Tropical Cyclone Mona will move through an environment marginally favorable for intensification during the next 24 hours.  Mona will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperature is near 28°C.  The upper level trough west of Fiji will continue to cause moderate vertical wind shear which will inhibit development.  Tropical Cyclone Mona could strengthen a little bit on Sunday, but it is likely to remain close to its current intensity.

The upper trough will steer Tropical Cyclone Mona toward the south-southeast during the next 12 hours.  The trough is forecast to cutoff and make a transition to an upper low.  The low will steer Mona more toward the south between 12 and 36 hours into the future.  Tropical Cyclone Mona will turn more toward the southwest on Monday.  On its anticipated track the center of Mona will pass near the northeastern end of Vanua Levu in about 12 hours.

Tropical Cyclone Mona will bring wind and rain to Vanua Levu and the eastern islands of Fiji.  Locally heavy rain could cause flash floods in some locations.

Elsewhere, Tropical Cyclone Penny was moving over the Coral Sea back toward Queensland.  At 10:00 p.m. EST on Saturday the center of Tropical Cyclone Penny was located at latitude 17.2°S and longitude 154.8°E which put it about 605 miles (980 km) east of Cairns.  Penny was moving toward the southwest at 14 m.p.h. (22 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 996 mb.

Tropical Cyclone Mona Stalls North of Fiji

Tropical Cyclone Mona stalled north of Fiji on Friday.  At 4:00 p.m. EST on Friday the center of Tropical Cyclone Mona was located at latitude 13.3°S and longitude 176.3°E which put it about 365 miles (590 km) north-northwest of Suva, Fiji.  Mona was moving toward the north-northeast at 8 m.p.h. (13 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 1000 mb.

Northerly winds blowing around the western end of an upper level ridge over the South Pacific Ocean strengthened on Friday.  Those upper level winds blew across the top of Tropical Cyclone Mona and they caused strong vertical wind shear.  The wind shear blew the upper portion of the circulation south of the circulation in the lower and middle levels of Tropical Cyclone Mona.  As a result, Mona was steered by the winds lower in the atmosphere, which caused it to stall.

New thunderstorms were redeveloping near the center of Tropical Cyclone Mona.  However, many of the bands revolving around the center of Mona still consisted primarily of showers and lower clouds.  The strong upper level winds were shearing the tops off of many of the thunderstorms that developed.  The upper level winds were also preventing the storms near the center of circulation from generating upper level divergence.

Tropical Cyclone Mona could intensify if the upper level winds weaken.  Mona will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperature is near 29°C.  The upper level ridge will continue to produce northerly winds, but those winds are forecast to weaken a little during the weekend.  If the upper level winds weaken and the vertical wind shear lessens, the Tropical Cyclone Mona could strengthen.  However, if the stronger upper level winds persist, then Mona could weaken further.

Tropical Cyclone Mona will meander north of Fiji as long as the wind shear prevents the development of a core of taller thunderstorms.  If Mona strengthens as forecast, then the upper level ridge will steer the tropical cyclone toward the south.  On its anticipated track Tropical Cyclone Mona could approach Fiji in about 48 hours.  Some guidance is suggesting the Mona could be the equivalent of a hurricane/typhoon at that time.

Elsewhere over the South Pacific Ocean, Tropical Cyclone Penny was meandering over the Coral Sea.  At 4:00 p.m. EST on Friday the center of Tropical Cyclone Penny was located at latitude 15.9°S and longitude 155.8°E which put it about 670 miles (1080 km) east of Cairns,, Australia.  Penny was moving toward the north at 2 m.p.h. (3 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 50 m.p.h. (80 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 65 m.p.h. (105 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 993 mb.

Tropical Cyclone Mona Forms North of Fiji

Tropical Cyclone Mona formed north of Fiji on Wednesday.  At 10:00 p.m. EST on Wednesday the center of Tropical Cyclone Mona was located at latitude 11.6°S and longitude 178.1°E which put it about 460 miles (745 km) north of Suva, Fiji.  Mona was moving toward the south-southeast at 12 m.p.h. (19 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 40 m.p.h. (65 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 50 m.p.h. (80 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 1003 mb.

A distinct low level center of circulation formed within an area of thunderstorms north of Fiji and the Fiji Meteorological Service designated the system as Tropical Cyclone Mona.  The circulation around Tropical Cyclone Mona was still organizing.  There was a small cluster of thunderstorms around the center of circulation.  Bands of showers and thunderstorms were forming and those bands were revolving around the center of circulation.

Tropical Cyclone Mona will move through an environment somewhat favorable for intensification during the next two days.  Mona will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperature is near 29°C.  It will move around the western end of an upper level ridge.  The ridge will produce northerly winds which will cause some vertical wind shear.  The shear will inhibit strengthening, but it will not be strong enough to prevent intensification.  Tropical Cyclone Mona will intensify during the next 36 to 48 hours and it could strengthen into the equivalent of a hurricane/typhoon.

The upper level ridge will steer Tropical Cyclone Mona toward the south-southeast during the next several days.  On its anticipated track Mona could approach Fiji in 36 to 48 hours.  Tropical Cyclone Mona could be the equivalent of a hurricane/typhoon when it nears Fiji.

Elsewhere over the South Pacific Ocean, Tropical Cyclone Penny was reorganizing over the Coral Sea east of Queensland.  At 10:00 p.m. EST on Wednesday the center of Tropical Cyclone Penny was located at latitude 14.2°S and longitude 152.2°E which put it about 470 miles (760 km) east-northeast of Cairns, Australia.  Penny was moving toward the east-southeast at 24 m.p.h. (39 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 987 mb.

Tropical Cyclone Owen Makes Landfall in Queensland

After making landfall on the southwest coast of the Gulf of Carpentaria, Tropical Cyclone Owen reversed course and it is now making landfall on the coast of Queensland between Kowanyama and the Gilbert River Mouth.  At 1:00 p.m. EST on Friday the center of Tropical Cyclone Owen was located at latitude 16.2°S and longitude 141.4°E which put it about 55 miles (85 km) south-southwest of Kowanyama, Australia.  Owen was moving toward the southeast at 16 m.p.h. (26 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 75 m.p.h. (120 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 90 m.p.h. (145 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 975 mb.

A Tropical Storm Warning was in effect for the portion of the coast from Karumba to Cape Keerweer, Queensland and adjacent coastal areas including Kowanyama, Pormpuraaw, Croydon and Palmerville.

Tropical Cyclone Owen moved quickly across the southern Gulf of Carpentaria during the past 24 hours.  The circulation around Owen reorganized after the center of circulation moved away from the southwest coast of the Gulf of Carpentaria.  An eye reformed at the center of circulation and more thunderstorms developed.  Tropical Cyclone Owen strengthened back into the equivalent of a hurricane/typhoon.  The circulation around Owen is small.  Winds to hurricane/typhoon force only extend out about 20 miles (35 km) from the center of circulation.  Winds to tropical storm force extend out about 100 miles (160 km) from the center.

Tropical Cyclone Owen will be capable of causing minor wind damage over a localized area near the center of circulation.  Locally heavy rain will fall along the track of Owen as it moves inland across Queensland.  On its anticipated track the center of Tropical Cyclone Owen is forecast to pass south of Cairns and it could be near Townsville in about 36 hours.  The rain will likely cause flooding in some locations.  A Flood Warning has been issued for the Jordan River.  Flood Watches have been issued for the Gulf of Carpentaria, south Cape York Peninsula and coastal catchments from Cape Tribulation to Rainbow Beach in Queensland.

Former Tropical Cyclone Owen Drops Rain on Northern Queensland

After meandering westward across the Coral Sea during the past week a low pressure system formerly designated as Tropical Cyclone Owen dropped rain on northern Queensland on Sunday.  At 7:00 p.m. EST on Sunday the center of former Tropical Cyclone Owen was located at latitude 15.7°S and longitude 144.5°E which put it about 75 miles (120 km) west of Cairns, Australia.  Owen was moving toward the west-northwest at 7 m.p.h.  The maximum sustained wind speed was 25 m.p.h. (40 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 35 m.p.h. (55 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 1006 mb.

Although it is no longer formally designated as a tropical cyclone, the low pressure center that was Tropical Cyclone Owen maintains a distinct low level center of circulation.  Bands of showers and thunderstorms are revolving around the center.  Some of those bands are moving inland over northern Queensland and they are dropping locally heavy rainfall.  Flooding could develop in areas that receive persistent heavy rain.

Flood Watches are in effect for the Mulgrave River, Russell River, Johnstone River, Murray River, Tully River, and Herbert River.

Former Tropical Storm Owen is forecast to move toward the west-northwest across the Cape York Peninsula.  It could emerge over the Gulf of Carpentaria early in the week.  There is a possibility that the low pressure system could strengthen when it moves back over water.

 

Tropical Cyclone Owen Develops Over the Coral Sea

Tropical Cyclone Owen developed over the Coral Sea on Sunday.  Thunderstorms developed near the center of a tropical low over the Coral Sea and the Australian Bureau of Meteorology designated the system as Tropical Cyclone Owen.  At 4:00 p.m. EST on Sunday the center of Tropical Cyclone Owen was located at latitude 15.4°S and longitude 154.9°E which put it about 615 miles (990 km) east of Cairns, Australia.  Owen was moving toward the south at 7 m.p.h. (11 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 50 m.p.h. (80 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 65 m.p.h. (105 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 996 mb.

The circulation of Tropical Cyclone Owen became better organized on Sunday.  A band of thunderstorms wrapped around the eastern and southern sides of the center of circulation.  Additional bands of showers and thunderstorms were developing in the eastern half of the circulation.  Bands in the western half of Tropical Cyclone Owen consisted primarily of showers and lower clouds.  Storms near the center of circulation were generating upper level divergence which was pumping mass away to the east of the tropical cyclone.

Tropical Cyclone Owen will move through an environment marginally favorable for intensification during the next 24 to 36 hours.  Owen will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperature is near 29°C.  It will move through a region where the upper level winds will blow from the west.  Those winds will blow toward the top of the circulation and they are already causing moderate vertical wind shear.  The wind shear is the likely reason why most of the stronger thunderstorms are developing in the eastern half of the circulation.  The westerly winds will inhibit upper level divergence to the west of the tropical cyclone and the wind shear will limit intensification.  Tropical Cyclone Owen could strengthen during the next day or two, but the wind shear is likely to weaken Owen later this week.

Tropical Cyclone Owen will move north of a subtropical ridge in the middle troposphere.  The ridge is forecast to turn Owen toward the west and to steer the tropical cyclone toward the west during the next few days.  On its anticipated track Tropical Cyclone Owen is forecast to move slowly westward during the next several days.  Owen could be east of Willis Island in three or four days.

Tropical Cyclone Iris Prompts Warnings for Queensland

The proximity of Tropical Cyclone Iris prompted the Australian Bureau of Meteorology to issued Warnings and Watches for the east coast of Queensland on Monday.  A Warning was issued for the portion of the coast from Ayr to Sarina including Mackay and the Whitsunday Islands.  A Watch was issued for the portion of the coast from Sarina to St. Lawrence.  At 11:00 p.m. EDT on Monday the center of Tropical Cyclone Iris was located at latitude 17.1°S and longitude 149.0°E which put it about 210 miles (335 km) northeast of Townsville, Australia.  Iris was moving toward the southeast at 3 m.p.h. (4 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 994 mb.

The circulation of Tropical Cyclone Iris was asymmetrical.  Most of the showers and thunderstorms were located south and east of the center of circulation.  The bands north and west of the center consisted primarily of low clouds and showers.  Tropical Cyclone Iris was near the western end of an upper level ridge.  The ridge was producing northwesterly winds which were blowing toward the top of the circulation.  Those winds were producing moderate vertical wind shear and they were probably responsible for the asymmetrical distribution of thunderstorms.

Tropical Cyclone Iris will be moving through an environment marginally favorable for intensification during the next 48 hours.  Iris will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperature is near 29°C.  However, the upper level ridge will continue to produce moderate vertical wind shear.  The shear will be strong enough to inhibit intensification.  If the strength of the upper level winds slows, then Tropical Cyclone Iris could strengthen, but if the upper level winds get faster, then Iris will weaken.  The forecast is for slow intensification, but there is high uncertainty about the intensity forecast.

The subtropical ridge east of Iris is steering Tropical Cyclone Iris slowly toward the southeast.  A general motion toward the southeast is expected to continue for several more days.  On its anticipated track the center of Tropical Cyclone Iris is expected to stay east of the coast of Queensland.  However, Tropical Cyclone Iris could come close enough to the coast to bring gusty winds and locally heavy rain to locations under Warnings and Watches.

Tropical Cyclone Iris Redevelops East of Queensland.

Tropical Cyclone Iris redeveloped east of Queensland on Sunday night.  At 11:00 p.m. EDT on Sunday the center of Tropical Cyclone Iris was located at latitude 16.9°S and longitude 148.7°E which put it about 190 miles (310 km) east of Cairns, Australia.  Iris was moving toward the southwest at 8 m.p.h. (13 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 995 mb.

Tropical Cyclone Iris formed over the Coral Sea last week but wind strong vertical shear quickly weakened Iris into an area of low pressure.  The low pressure system meandered over the Coral Sea east of Australia during the past few days.  More thunderstorms developed near the center of circulation on Sunday and the Australian Bureau of Meteorology designated the system as Tropical Cyclone Iris again.

The circulation around Tropical Cyclone Iris was still reorganizing on Sunday night.  A distinct low level center of circulation was evident on visible satellite images.  More thunderstorms were developing near the center.  A primary rainband wrapped around the northern, eastern and southern sides of the center of circulation.  Bands northwest of the center consisted mainly of showers and low clouds.  Storms near the core of the circulation generated upper level divergence which was pumping mass away to the east of the tropical cyclone.

Tropical Cyclone Iris will move through an environment somewhat favorable for intensification on Monday.  Iris will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperature is 29°C.  It is moving around the western end of an upper level ridge.  The ridge is producing northwesterly winds which were blowing toward the top of the circulation.  Those winds were causing moderate vertical wind shear and they may have been the reason for the lack of strong rainbands northwest of the center of circulation.  The wind shear is likely to inhibit intensification, but it probably won’t prevent Tropical Cyclone Iris from intensifying on Monday.

Tropical Cyclone Iris was moving around the western end of a subtropical ridge which was steering Iris toward the southwest.  Iris will likely move more toward the south and then southeast as it rounds the western end of the ridge.  On its anticipated track Tropical Cyclone Iris is expected to remain east of Queensland.

Elsewhere over the South Pacific Ocean Tropical Cyclone Josie was swirling south of Fiji.  At 11:00 p.m. EDT on Sunday the center of Tropical Storm Josie was located at latitude 21.1°S and longitude 178.1°E which put it about 185 miles (300 km) south of Suva, Fiji.  Josie was moving toward the south-southeast at 14 m.p.h. (22 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 40 m.p.h. (65 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 50 m.p.h. (80 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 999 mb.