Australia's first tropical cyclone of the season
Tropical Cyclone Paddy has just developed near Christmas Island, becoming the first named cyclone in Australia's 2021/22 tropical cyclone season.
An unassuming low pressure system that had been spinning away near Christmas Island over the weekend quickly gained strength on Monday morning.
By 11am AWST, the system had become a tropical cyclone located around 390 km to the southeast of Christmas Island and close to 1200 km north northwest of Exmouth in WA.
Image: Tropical Cyclone Paddy located to the southeast of Christmas Island on Wednesday afternoon.
The tropical cyclone was named Paddy, becoming the first tropical cyclone to develop inside the Australian region since the 2021/22 tropical cyclone season started at the beginning of November.
Paddy's life as a tropical cyclone will be short-lived. The system is expected to move south during the next 24 hours, before turning west and then weakening as it moves out into the Indian Ocean, away from Australia.
This season is likely to see a near to slightly above average number of tropical cyclones in the Australian region due to La Niña and warmer-than-average sea surface temperatures near northern Australia.
The next tropical cyclone to develop in Australia's area of responsibility will be named Ruby.