Weather News

Tropical cyclone expected near northern WA

Ben Domensino, Wednesday January 23, 2019 - 15:39 EDT

A deepening tropical low to the north of WA is expected to become a tropical cyclone on Thursday.

The low pressure system, which developed within the monsoon trough, was located just under 200km to the north northwest of Kuri Bay at 11am Western Standard Time on Wednesday.

Image: A tropical low located to the north of WA may develop into a tropical cyclone this week.

Warm sea surface temperatures will allow the low to gain strength as it moves towards the southwest, roughly parallel to the north coast of WA, during the next few days.

The Bureau of Meteorology anticipates the system to reach category one tropical cyclone intensity on Thursday, and increase to a category three severe tropical cyclone by Saturday.

A cyclone warning has been issued for coastal areas of the west Kimberley between Kuri Bay and Beagle Bay, where gale force winds may develop on Thursday if the deepening low moves close enough to the coast. Heavy rain and squally thunderstorms are also a risk in the northwest Kimberley coast.

Computer models indicate that the tropical cyclone may encounter less favourable conditions towards the end of the week, which could cause it to start weakening from Monday.

At this stage, the system isn't expected to make landfall over WA, although tropical cyclones are dynamic systems and forecasts can change quickly. Be sure to monitor the latest advisories during the coming days.

Another tropical low located further east could intensify over the Gulf of Carpentaria during the next few days. This system has the potential to develop into a tropical cyclone later in the week and should be watched closely by people living in northern Queensland or the eastern Top End.

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