Australia Sea Surface Temperature
The sea surface temperature (SST) varies much more slowly than atmospheric temperatures due to the heat capacity of water. As such, the SSTs lag the atmospheric temperatures on a seasonal timescale by about 3 months. The lowest SSTs are usually observed in early Spring and the highest SSTs are observed in early Autumn.
In tropical regions, SSTs greater than 26°C are considered suitable for formation of tropical cyclones.
The data displayed in this map is the weekly average, centred on the date shown.
A tropical low off north Queensland has a high chance of developing into a cyclone and making landfall by early next week, the Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) says.
Queensland may see its first tropical cyclone in two years in coming days, although the situation is still hard to call.
It runs one of the most-viewed websites in Australia and broadcasts its weather forecasts and warnings around the country each day.