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Coral Sea tropical cyclone potential

Ben Domensino, Friday November 30, 2018 - 10:26 EDT

Australia may see its first tropical cyclone of the season over the northern Coral Sea during the next few days.

A mass of cloud building over Solomon Sea, between Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands, has the potential to become a tropical cyclone this weekend or early next week.

While there is still a fair amount of uncertainty regarding the future movement and development of the system, a number of computer models indicate that it could move south and enter the northern Coral Sea as early as this weekend. This could become the first tropical cyclone in Australia's area of responsibility so far this season.

As of Friday morning, the Bureau of Meteorology were giving a 20-50 percent chance that this system will be classified as a tropical cyclone in Australian waters on Sunday. This outlook is due to be updated during the afternoon at: http://www.bom.gov.au/qld/forecasts/cyclone.shtml

At this stage, the system doesn't pose an immediate threat to Australia as it is expected to remain well offshore during the next 72 hours. More reliable forecast information will become available during the coming days.

As with all potential tropical cyclones, it's worth keeping an eye on the development of this system if you live in northern Australia, particular Queensland and the NT.

If the developing low becomes a tropical cyclone in the Solomon Sea it will be named by Papua New Guinea's National Weather Service. However, if it drifts south and enters Australian waters before becoming a tropical cyclone, it will be named by the Bureau of Meteorology.

The next tropical cyclone to be named in our waters will be Owen, followed by Penny and Riley. Australia's tropical cyclone season runs from November to April.

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