Tropical Cyclone Veronica stalled and weakened near the coast of Western Australia west of Port Hedand. At 5:00 p.m. EDT on Sunday the center of Tropical Cyclone Veronica was located at latitude 20.5°S and longitude 117.5°E which put it about 70 miles (110 km) west of Port Hedland. Veronica was moving toward the southwest at 2 m.p.h. (3 km/h). The maximum sustained wind speed was 70 m.p.h. (110 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 85 m.p.h. (135 km/h). The minimum surface pressure was 974 mb. A Tropical Cyclone Warning remained in effect from Port Hedland to Mardie including Karratha and Barrow Island.
The southern eyewall of Tropical Cyclone Veronica moved over the coast of Western Australia west of Port Hedland on Saturday night. Veronica was the equivalent of a major hurricane and there would have been a period of strong winds near the coast. It likely caused some wind damage and generated a storm surge at the coast. An upper level trough west of Australia produced strong northwesterly winds that reached the top of Tropical Cyclone Veronica as it neared the coast. Those winds produced very strong vertical wind shear and they blew the upper half of the circulation southeast of the lower half of the tropical cyclone. The decoupling of the upper and lower parts of the circulation caused Tropical Cyclone Veronica to weaken very quickly during the past 12 hours. Veronica weakened from the equivalent of a major hurricane to a tropical storm.
The strong wind shear also generated an asymmetrical distribution of rainfall. Most of the rain was falling in the southeastern half of the circulation which was over Western Australia. Bands in the northwestern half of the circulation consisted primarily of showers and lower clouds. Locally heavy rain could produce flooding in a few locations, but the rapid weakening of Tropical Cyclone Veronica will reduce the risk of flooding.
Tropical Cyclone Veronica will continue to weaken quickly because of the strong vertical wind shear. The decoupling of the upper and lower halves of the circulation has resulted in little motion during the past few hours. However, the lower half of Veronica will be steered more by the winds in the lower troposphere. Those winds will steer Tropical Cyclone Veronica toward the west-southwest during the next day or two. On its anticipated track the lower half of Veronica will move near the coast of Western Australia. On its anticipated track Tropical Cyclone Veronica will pass near Wickham, Karratha, Dampier, Onslow and Exmouth. Veronica will bring some gusty winds, but it should pose a limited risk.
Elsewhere over the South Indian Ocean, Tropical Cyclone Joaninha was strengthening northwest of Rodrigues. At 5:00 p.m. EDT on Sunday the center of Tropical Cyclone Joaninha was located at latitude 17.4°S and longitude 62.0°E which put it about 180 miles (290 km) northwest of Rodrigues, Mauritius. Joaninha was moving toward the southeast at 2 m.p.h. (3 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.