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Tropical thunder at the top of Down Under

Sam Terry, Saturday January 20, 2018 - 12:55 EDT

Weather news of late has been focussed on the heatwave conditions plaguing southeastern Australia - and rightly so: these conditions are severe. However, this is not the only weather of note in the country at the moment, with monsoonal rain and storms set to douse the tropics over the coming week.

A quick glance at a satellite image of Australia will show bright cloud bordering the Northern Territory at the moment, following the monsoon trough, but relatively little cloud over the mainland. However, Saturday 20th and Sunday 21st should see the monsoon winds, typically northwesterly, push further inland over Darwin and into the Arnhem district.

Currently all the thunderstorm action is, as expected, coursing through the Arafura Sea and into the Gulf of Carpentaria. The next 48 hours will see this activity spread well inland across the Top End, bring 40-100mm to most parts. Darwin itself already felt a big splash yesterday afternoon, 87mm worth, its wettest day since February last season. The next 24 hours could see another 20-50mm on top of that.

As the new week arrives, some models are indicating potential for a low to develop in the Gulf with the monsoon, and another in the Coral Sea. Whilst waters are warm enough for cyclone genesis in these places, and five cyclones have already occurred in the Australian region so far, cyclone potential remains relatively low.

Whatever happens over the next week, it certainly looks wet and warm for the Australian tropics.

- Weatherzone

© Weatherzone 2018

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