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Anthony Duke, 31 Dec 2014, 4:44 AM UTC

All eyes on the WA tropics for cyclone development

All eyes on the WA tropics for cyclone development
With the monsoon trough beginning to intensify, the first weekend of the new year brings an increased risk of cyclone development over the waters off northwestern Australia. After Severe Tropical Cyclone Kate swept past the Cocos Islands earlier this week and travelled further west across the Indian Ocean, meteorologists will be turning their attention to Australia's tropical north this weekend. Early indications from computer models show that at least a tropical low should develop in the western Timor Sea by the end of this week. As the monsoon trough intensifies, the potential for a tropical low to develop into a cyclone increases towards the start of next week. The latest sea surface temperatures north of the Kimberley coast are 30 to 31 degrees, well above the crucial 26.5 degrees needed for cyclogenesis. It's still too early to say exactly where and when the cyclone will form this weekend, but the situation will be monitored closely and residents about the Pilbara and Kimberley coasts of WA should stay current with the latest outlooks and warnings at weatherzone.com.au
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