Tag Archives: Mornington Island

Tropical Low Prompts Warning for Northern Queensland

A tropical low over the Gulf of Carpentaria prompted the issuance of warnings and watches for northern Queensland on Thursday.  A Tropical Cyclone Warning was in effect for the portion of the coast from Mapoon to Karumba.  A Tropical Cyclone Watch was in effect for the portion of the coast from Karumba to the border between Queensland and the Northern Territory including Mornington Island.

At 7:00 p.m. EST on Thursday the center of the tropical low was located at latitude 13.0°S and longitude 139.9°E which put it about 135 miles (220 km) west of Weipa, Australia.  It was moving toward the north at 5 m.p.h. (8 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 30 m.p.h. (50 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 40 m.p.h. (65 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 1002 mb.

The circulation around the tropical low exhibited more organization on Thursday.  A band of showers and thunderstorms wrapped around the western and northern sides of the center of circulation.  Other bands of showers and thunderstorms were developing over the Gulf of Carpentaria.  Storms near the center of circulation began to generate upper level divergence which was pumping mass away in outflow channels to the northwest and southeast of the tropical low.

The tropical low will move through an environment favorable for intensification.  It will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperature is near 30°C.  The tropical low will be in an area where the upper level winds are weaker and the vertical wind shear will be limited.  The tropical low is likely to intensify during the next 24 to 36 hours and it is forecast to become a named tropical cyclone.

The tropical low is under the northeastern portion of an upper level low.  It is in a small region where the steering winds are weaker and the tropical low meandered over the eastern Gulf of Carpentaria on Thursday.  Northerly winds blowing around the upper level low are forecast to steer the tropical low toward the south during the next day or two.  On its anticipated path the tropical low is expected to move over the eastern Gulf of Carpentaria near the coast of Queensland.  If the tropical low follow its anticipated track, it will make landfall on the south coast of the Gulf of Carpentaria in about 48 hours.  However, any eastward deviation would bring the tropical low inland over Queensland much sooner.

Elsewhere, Tropical Cyclone Riley strengthened northwest of Australia.  At 7:00 p.m. EST on Thursday the center of Tropical Cyclone Riley was located at latitude 16.5°S and longitude 118.8°E which put it about 265 miles (425 km) north of Port Hedland, Australia.  Riley was moving toward the west at 4 m.p.h. (6 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 985 mb.  A Tropical Cyclone Watch was in effect for the portion of the coast from Whim Creek to Onslow, Australia including Karratha and Dampier.

Tropical Cyclone Owen Near Coast of Australia

The center of Tropical Cyclone Owen was near the coast of Australia on Wednesday.  At 4:00 p.m. EST on Wednesday the center of Tropical Cyclone Owen was located at latitude 15.2°S and longitude 136.1°E which put it about 55 miles (90 km) northwest of Port McArthur, Australia.  Owen was moving toward the southwest at 5 m.p.h. (8 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 978 mb.  Tropical Cyclone Owen was the equivalent of a hurricane/typhoon.

The center of Tropical Cyclone Owen was near the portion of the coast between Port Roper and Port McArthur in the Northern Territory of Australia.  Owen was producing winds to near hurricane/typhoon force.  It was dropping locally heavy rain over the southeastern coastal portions of the Northern Territory.

A Tropical Cyclone Warning was in effect for the portion of the coast between Alyangula, Northern Territory and Burketown, Queensland  including Groote Eylandt, Mornington Island and Borroloola.  A Tropical Cyclone Watch was in effect for the portion of the coast from Burketown to Aurukun, Northern Territory and adjacent inland areas including Pormpuraaw, Kowanyama and Karumba.  Flood Watches were in effect for the Gulf of Carpentaria, south Cape York Peninsula and North Tropical Coast catchments in Queensland.

Tropical Cyclone Owen strengthened and exhibited greater organization on Wednesday.  A small circular eye developed at the center of circulation.  A ring of strong 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 Owen.  The strongest rainbands were over the Gulf of Carpentaria.  Storms around the core of Owen were generating upper level divergence which was pumping mass away to the southeast of the tropical cyclone.

The circulation around Tropical Cyclone Owen was relatively small.  Winds to hurricane/typhoon force extended out only about 20 miles (30 km) from the center of circulation.  Winds to tropical storm force extended out about 80 miles (130 km) from the center.

Tropical Cyclone Owen will move through an environment favorable for intensification for another 24 to 36 hours.  Owen will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperature is near 30°C.  An upper level trough over Western Australia and an upper level ridge northeast of Australia will combine to produce northwesterly winds which 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 further intensification.  The center of Tropical Cyclone Own is close to the coast and part of the circulation is over land.  Owen could weaken during the next few hours, while the center is near land.  It should strengthen when the center moves back over the Gulf of Carpentaria.

Tropical Cyclone Owen is an area where the steering currents are weak and it is moving slowly toward the southwest.  The trough over Western Australia will start to steer Owen toward the east-southeast during the next 12 hours.  On its anticipated track the center of Tropical Cyclone Owen could pass just north of Port McArthur in about 12 hours.  Owen could pass north of Mornington Island in about 18 hours.  Tropical Cyclone Owen could approach the southeast of coast of the Gulf of Carpentaria in about 36 hours.  Owen is likely to be the equivalent of a hurricane/typhoon at that time.

Tropical Cyclone Owen will bring gusty winds and locally heavy rain to the southern portions of the Gulf of Carpentaria.  Owen will be capable of causing minor wind damage while it lingers near the southeast coast of the Northern Territory.  It will also drop locally heavy rain in coastal areas and flooding could occur.  Tropical Cyclone Owen will be stronger when it brings wind and rain to parts of Queensland.

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.