Former Tropical Cyclone Esther dropped heavy rain over parts of northwestern Australia on Wednesday. At 10:00 p.m. EST on Wednesday the center of Tropical Cyclone Esther was located at latitude 15.3°S and longitude 130.8°E which put it about 240 miles (390 km) south of Darwin, Australia. Esther was moving toward the west at 7 m.p.h. (11 km/h). The maximum sustained wind speed was 35 m.p.h. (55 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 50 m.p.h. (80 km/h). The minimum surface pressure was 996 mb.
The circulation around former Tropical Cyclone Esther remained very well organized on Wednesday even though it had been moving across northern Australia for several days. There was a distinct low level center of circulation. The circulation was surrounded by bands of showers and thunderstorms. Strong thunderstorms developed south of Darwin in a band in the northern part of the circulation. The Darwin harbor reported a wind gust of 44 m.p.h. (72 km/h). The Wyndham airport reported a wind gust of 39 m.p.h. (63 km/h).
Former Tropical Cyclone Esther could strengthen back into a tropical cyclone if the center of circulation moves over the South Indian Ocean west of Australia. Esther will move through an environment favorable for intensification during the next day or two. The Sea Surface Temperature near the west coast of Australia is near 30°C. Esther will move under an upper level ridge where the winds are weak and there is little vertical wind shear. Former Tropical Cyclone Esther could intensify rapidly if the center of circulation moves completely over water.
Former Tropical Cyclone Esther will move around the western end of a high pressure system over Australia during the next several days. The high will steer Esther toward the west during the next 24 to 48 hours. It will turn more toward the south when it reaches the western end of the high pressure system. On its anticipated track the center of former Tropical Cyclone Esther will pass near the southern end of the Joseph Bonaparte Gulf.
Elsewhere over the South Indian Ocean, Tropical Cyclone Ferdinand churned northwest of Australia. At 10:00 p.m. EST the center of Tropical Cyclone Ferdinand was located at latitude 16.6°S and longitude 114.3°E which put it about 400 miles (645 km) north of Learmonth, Australia. Ferdinand was moving toward the west at 3 m.p.h. (5 km/h). The maximum sustained wind speed was 90 m.p.h. (145 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 115 m.p.h. (185 km/h). The minimum surface pressure was 966 mb.