Weather News

Monsoon late to the date but now ready to dump on Darwin

By Matt Garrick, Monday January 21, 2019 - 19:15 EDT
ABC image
Surfers will no doubt relish the return of the Top End's monsoon. - ABC

Risks of a cyclone brewing over northern Australia are intensifying as the long-awaited monsoon finally descends on Darwin.

Dual tropical lows are percolating in the Arafura Sea, with one hovering south of Timor-Leste and the other over the Torres Strait in far north Queensland.

The northern Top End was expected to cop a drenching of 80-100mm during the next three days.

Usually expected to hit in December, the monsoon's tardy arrival to the Territory has kept residents sweating in drier-than-average conditions.

"We just haven't had the winds coming down through the Indonesian archipelago which force the trough south," BOM forecaster Sally Cutter said.

"There's been a whole combination of things ... things just haven't quite lined up properly."

The latest ever onset of the monsoon in Darwin was on January 25, back in 1973.

Cyclone risks elevated during monsoon

The bureau flagged an elevated risk of a cyclone forming during the monsoon's time in the region, but Ms Cutter said it was unlikely to hit this week.

"Obviously we do have a couple of lows that we're watching," Ms Cutter said.

"[But] at this stage there's not much likelihood of any cyclones in the next few days."

The BOM have said the Timor system was rated a very low chance of developing into a tropical cyclone (under 5 per cent chance) on Tuesday, while the Torres Strait low would increase to a low chance (5 to 20 per cent) of forming into a cyclone on Thursday.

Southern Territory continues to swelter

The southern parts of the NT were expected to continue scorching under relentless heatwave conditions.

, will continue to swelter, as will Yulara and Alice Springs.

"Unfortunately we're not going to see any respite to the heatwave conditions in the southern parts of the Territory," Ms Cutter said.


© ABC 2019

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