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.