Tag Archives: Groote Eylandt

Tropical Cyclone Owen Redevelops Over Gulf of Carpentaria

After meandering westward over the Coral Sea last week and crossing northern Queensland, Tropical Cyclone Owen redeveloped over the Gulf of Carpentaria on Tuesday.  At 10:00 a.m. EST on Tuesday the center of Tropical Cyclone Owen was located at latitude 14.9°S and longitude 138.4°E which put it about 135 miles (215 km) north-northwest of Mornington Island, Australia.  Owen was moving toward the west-northwest at 7 m.p.h. (11 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 993 mb.

The circulation around Tropical Cyclone Owen exhibited increased organization after it moved over the Gulf of Carpentaria and the Australian Bureau of Meteorology reclassified the system as a tropical cyclone on Tuesday.  A band of showers and thunderstorms was wrapping around the southern and western sides of the center of circulation and the strongest winds were occurring in that band of storms.  Other bands of showers and thunderstorms were strengthening over the Gulf of Carpentaria.  Storms near the center of circulation started to generate upper level divergence which was pumping mass away from the tropical cyclone.

A Tropical Cyclone Warning is in effect for the portion of the coast from Cape Shield, Northern Territory to Burketown, Queensland including Groote Eylandt and Mornington Island.

Tropical Cyclone Owen will move through an environment favorable for intensification during the next several days.  Owen will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperature is near 30°C.  It will move in an area between an upper level ridge north of Australia and a larger upper level ridge over the South Pacific Ocean where the upper level winds are weaker.  There will be some vertical wind shear, but the wind shear will not be strong enough to prevent intensification.  Tropical Cyclone Owen will intensify during the next two days and it could strengthen into the equivalent of a hurricane/typhoon.

The ridge north of Australia will steer Tropical Cyclone Owen toward the west-northwest during the next 24 hours.  On its anticipated track Tropical Cyclone Owen could be near Groote Eylandt in about 24 hours.  An upper level trough over Western Australia will move eastward and the trough will cause the winds in the steering levels to weaken in a day or so.  Owen could drift slowly southward for 12 to 24 hours when that happens.  Eventually, westerly winds blowing around the northern end of the trough are forecast to turn Tropical Cyclone Owen back toward the east.

Tropical Cyclone Owen could bring gusty winds and drop locally heavy rain over Groote Eylandt when it passes nearby.  If Owen drifts southward as expected, it could also bring gusty winds and heavy rain to the western coast of the Gulf of Carpentaria near Port McArthur.