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    Australia Tropical Cyclone in the Making

    March 13, 2013; 8:48 AM ET


    A growing tropical low is shown east of the Cape York Peninsula (Queensland, Australia) at 1230 UTC Wednesday, March 13, 2013. (Credit: Australian Bureau of Meteorology)

    A tropical low near northeastern Australia was showing, as of Wednesday, strong signs of becoming the newest Southern Hemisphere tropical cyclone.

    If indeed a tropical cyclone were to take shape, it would track away from major land masses through at least Friday. However, a later turn towards the Queensland coast was seen as one possible forecast scenario.

    Early Wednesday, local time, the tropical low slipped eastward, into the Coral Sea off the northern end of Queensland's Cape York Peninsula. Rainfall since Monday was 36 cm, or 14.2 inches, at Monument, near the northern tip of Cape York.

    The tropical low was forecast to track east-southeastward over the Coral Sea, organizing further Thursday and Friday. Official upgrade, first to a tropical depression, then to a tropical cyclone, was forecast no later than Thursday, according to the Australian Bureau of Meteorology (BoM).

    While it was rather clear, based on forecast tools available to AccuWeather.com, that the developing weather system would steer away from the Australian mainland Thursday and Friday, behavior of the system Saturday and beyond was less clear.

    A southward hook or even a sharper southwestward hook towards the Queensland coast were among the forecast scenarios as of Wednesday. Any crossing of the Australian coast could lead to flooding rain and damaging winds, albeit not before the first half of next week.

    Elsewhere, Tropical Cyclone Sandra, formerly a powerful and dangerous storm over the eastern Coral Sea, weakened steadily over the northern Tasman Sea, tracking southwards. Sandra no longer posed a serious threat to any land.

    The views expressed are those of the author and not necessarily those of AccuWeather, Inc. or AccuWeather.com

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