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Ben Domensino, 05 Dec 2023, 7:21 AM UTC

Tropical Cyclone Jasper forms in Australian region

Tropical Cyclone Jasper forms in Australian region

Tropical Cyclone Jasper has formed near the Solomon Islands, becoming the first tropical cyclone to be named in Australia’s area of responsibility so far this season.

A tropical low located over the Solomon Sea has been producing a swirling mass of clouds, rain and thunderstorms over the last few days.

On Tuesday, this low pressure system strengthened into a tropical cyclone just inside the northeastern boundary of Australia's area of responsibility. As the cyclone formed inside the Australian region, the Bureau of Meteorology named it Tropical Cyclone Jasper. This is the first cyclone to be named by the Bureau in the 2023-24 season, which officially runs from November to April.

At 4pm AEST on Tuesday, Jasper was located 1500 km northeast of Cairns and as moving slowly over the Solomon Sea. The system is expected to move towards the south and southwest over the next few days as it progressively gains strength over the warm Coral Sea.

The Bureau’s latest track map for Jasper, issued just after 5pm AEST on Tuesday, predicts the system become a category 3 severe tropical cyclone at some stage on Wednesday and may reach category 4 strength by Friday.

Some forecast models suggest that Jasper could track towards eastern Qld from this weekend or early next week, although this is still uncertain at this stage.

You can find the latest forecast information on Tropical Cyclone Jasper on the Bureau’s tropical cyclone page here.

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