Tag Archives: Gulf of Carpentaria

Tropical Cyclone Nora Makes Landfall in Queensland

Tropical Cyclone Nora made landfall on the coast of Queensland near Pormpuraaw on Saturday.  At 5:00 p.m. EDT on Saturday the center of Tropical Cyclone Nora was located at latitude 15.8°S and longitude 141.8°E which put it about 30 miles (50 km) south of Kowanyama, Australia.  Nora was moving toward the south-southeast at 15 m.p.h. (24 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 979 mb.

Tropical Cyclone Nora moved across the northern Gulf of Carpentaria and made landfall near Pormpuraaw earlier on Saturday.  A weather station at Kowanyama, which is south of the original landfall recorded a sustained wind speed of 44 m.p.h. (70 km/h) and a wind gust of 62 m.p.h. (100 km/h).  The station also recorded five inches (128 mm) of rain.

Tropical Cyclone Nora is forecast to move southward near the coast of the Gulf of Carpentaria for another 12 to 18 hours.  Nora is then expected to move westward across the southern end of the Gulf of Carpentaria.  The Australian Bureau of Meteorology was maintaining a warning for the portion of the coast from Pormpuraaw to Karumba.  A Watch was in effect for the portion of the coast from Karumba to the border between Queensland and the Northern Territory.  In addition to bringing gusty winds to the coast of Queensland, Tropical Cyclone Nora will drop locally heavy rain.  The heavy rain could cause flash flooding in some places.

Tropical Cyclone Nora Strengthens Over Gulf of Carpentaria

Tropical Cyclone Nora strengthened over the Gulf of Carpentaria on Friday.  At 11:00 p.m EDT on Friday the center of Tropical Cyclone Nora was located at latitude 12.6°S and longitude 140.0°E which put it about 125 miles (205 km) west of Weipa, Australia.  Nora was moving toward the southeast at 9 m.p.h. (14 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 110 m.p.h. (175 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 130 m.p.h. (210 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 956 mb.  The Australian Bureau of Meteorology had issued a Warning for the portion of the coast from Karumba to Mapoon including Weipa and Mornington Island.  A Watch was in effect for the portion of the coast from Weipa to the border between the Northern Territory and Queensland.

Tropical Cyclone Nora strengthened on Friday as it entered the northern portion of the Gulf of Carpentaria.  An eye appeared intermittently at the center of circulation.  A band of stronger thunderstorms wrapped intermittently around the formative eye and the strongest winds were blowing in the band of thunderstorms.  Bands of showers and thunderstorms were revolving around the center of circulation.  Storms near the core of the circulation were generating upper level divergence which was pumping mass away from the tropical cyclone.

Tropical Cyclone Nora will be moving through an environment favorable for intensification.  Nora will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperature is near 30°C.  It will move under an area where the upper level winds are weak and there is little vertical wind shear.  Tropical Cyclone Nora could strengthen into the equivalent of a major hurricane during the next 24 to 36 hours.

Tropical Cyclone Nora is moving near the western end of a mid-level ridge which is steering Nora toward the south.  A general motion toward the south is expected to continue for another day or two.  On its anticipated track Nora could approach the coast of Queensland between Kowanyama and the mouth of the Gilbert River in 24 to 36 hours.  Nora could bring gusty winds and locally heavy rain to portions of northwestern Queensland.

Elsewhere, Tropical Cyclone Marcus was weakening off the coast of Western Australia.  At 11:00 p.m. EDT on Friday the center of Tropical Cyclone Marcus was located at latitude 25.9°S and longitude 107.5°E, which put it about 770 miles (1045 km) west of Carnarvon, Australia.  Marcus was moving toward the south-southeast at 20 m.p.h. (32 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 984 mb.

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.

Tropical Cyclone 16P Forms Over Gulf of Carpentaria

After a quiet period of several weeks in the tropics Tropical Cyclone 16P formed over the Gulf of Carpentaria on Tuesday.  At 11:00 p.m. EDT on Tuesday the center of Tropical Cyclone 16P was located at latitude 16.4°S and longitude 140.3°E which put it about 75 miles (120 km) east-northeast of Mornington Island and about 115 miles (185 km) southwest of Kowanyama, Australia.  Tropical Cyclone 16P was moving toward the east-southeast at 12 m.p.h. (18 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 996 mb.

An upper level ridge persisted over the Gulf of Carpentaria during the past few days.  The upper level ridge generated upper level divergence which enhanced rising motion and supported the development of thunderstorms.  Eventually, the upper level divergence pumped out enough mass to allow the surface pressure to decrease and the thunderstorms began to consolidate around a low level center.  The system developed enough organization on Tuesday to be classified as a tropical cyclone.

The organization of Tropical Cyclone 16P improved on Tuesday.  Spiral bands of thunderstorms wrapped around a low level center.  Strong thunderstorms near the center of circulation generated upper level divergence, especially to the east of the tropical cyclone.

The environment is favorable for intensification as long as the center of circulation remains over water.  The Sea Surface Temperatures are near 31°C in the southern Gulf of Carpentaria.  An upper level ridge to the east of the tropical cyclone is generating some vertical wind shear, but the ridge is also enhancing upper level divergence.  The primary inhibiting factor is the proximity of the center of circulation to land.  Tropical Cyclone 16P could intensify further during the next 12 hours before it makes landfall.

The upper level ridge is steering Tropical Cyclone 16P toward the southeast coast of the Gulf of Carpentaria.  On its anticipated track Tropical cyclone 16P is expected to make landfall in Queensland near the mouth of the Gilbert River in about 12 hours.  The potential track after landfall is much more uncertain.  Some guidance suggests that the tropical cyclone could move across the Cape York peninsula toward the Coral Sea.  Other guidance suggests that the tropical cyclone could turn back toward the northwest and move back out into the Gulf of Carpentaria.

Although Tropical Cyclone 16P is likely to cause minor wind damage, it could produce locally heavy rainfall and flooding when it moves over northeastern Queensland.

Tropical Low Forms Over Northern Australia

A distinct center of circulation consolidated within a broader area of low pressure near the northern coast of Australia.  The Australian Bureau of Meteorology designated the system as a Tropical Low.  At 10:00 p.m. EST on Saturday the center of the Tropical Low was located at latitude 14.7°N and longitude 132.7°E which put it about 35 miles (55 km) east-southeast of Katherine, Australia and about 135 miles (220 km) west of Ngukurr.  The Tropical Low was moving toward the east at 3 m.p.h. (5 km).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 30 m.p.h. (45 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 50 m.p.h. (80 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 1005 mb.

The atmospheric environment around the Tropical Low would be favorable for the development of a tropical cyclone.  The upper level winds are light and there is not much vertical wind shear.  An upper level anticyclone over the Tropical Low is providing a source of upper level divergence, which is pumping out mass.  However, the Tropical Low is over land which is preventing the development of a tropical cyclone.  As long as the Tropical Low remains over land, it will not develop into a tropical cyclone.  However, if the Tropical Low emerges over the Gulf of Carpentaria in a day or so, it could develop into a tropical cyclone.

A ridge in the middle levels of the atmosphere is steering the tropical low toward the east and that general motion is expected to continue for another 24 to 48 hours.  On its anticipated track the Tropical Low could emerge over the southwestern Gulf of Carpentaria south of Port Roper in 24 to 36 hours.

Although the Tropical Low is moving over land, it will still draw in enough moisture to be capable of producing locally heavy rain.  Flooding may be possible in some locations.

Tropical Cyclone Nathan Making Landfall in Northern Australia

The center of Tropical Cyclone Nathan is moving inland near Nhulunbuy, Australia.  At 9:00 p.m. EDT on Saturday the center of Tropical Cyclone Nathan was located at latitude 12.6°S and longitude 136.8°E which put it about 25 miles south of Nhulunbuy and about 90 miles north-northeast of Alyangula, Australia.  Nathan was moving toward the northwest at 8 m.p.h.  The maximum wind speed was 75 m.p.h. and there were gusts to 90 m.p.h.  The minimum surface pressure was 979 mb.

The atmospheric environment around Tropical Cyclone Nathan is favorable for intensification.  The upper level winds are light.  The circulation is well organized and there is upper level outflow pumping out mass.  Outflow channels extend to the northwest and southeast.  However, as the center moves over land, the circulation will weaken.  The center is expected to cross the northeastern corner of Arnhem Land and move back over water in a few hours.  The potential for re-intensification will depend on how far away from the coast the center moves.

A subtropical ridge located southwest of Nathan is steering it toward the northwest.  The ridge is expected to continue to steer the tropical cyclone in that direction for another day or so.  After that time Nathan is expected to start moving more toward the west and eventually toward the southwest and make another landfall on the northern coast of Australia,

Nathan is strong enough to cause some wind damage.  It could also produce a significant storm surge near where the center is making landfall.  Locally heavy rainfall could create possible flooding at inland locations.

Severe Tropical Cyclone Nathan Making Landfall in Queensland

The center of Severe Tropical Cyclone Nathan is very near the coast of Queensland and it is about to make landfall between Cape Flattery and Cape Melville.  At 11:00 a.m. EDT on Thursday the center of Nathan was located at latitude 14.7°S and longitude 145.6°E which put it about 20 miles northeast of Cape Flattery and about 50 miles north-northeast of Cooktown, Australia.  Nathan was moving toward the west at 11 m.p.h.  The maximum sustained wind speed was 105 m.p.h. and there were gusts to 140 m.p.h.  The minimum surface pressure was 953 mb.

A subtropical ridge is steering Nathan westward and this motion is expected to continue.  The center of Nathan will make landfall soon between Cape Flattery and Cape Melville.  It is capable of producing wind damage and a significant storm surge near where the center crosses the coast.  Nathan could also produce locally heavy rainfall and flooding in some locations.  It is possible that the circulation could emerge intact over the Gulf of Carpentaria.  In that case Nathan could re-intensify somewhat and possibly pose a risk to the western side of the Gulf.