Former Cyclone Jack Halts Airliner Search, New Development Possible

By Erik Pindrock, Meteorologist
April 23, 2014; 3:06 AM ET
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Interaction with increased wind shear and cooler ocean temperatures have resulted in rapid weakening of Jack on Tuesday.

As a result of this weakening, Jack has lost tropical characteristics and is no longer classified as a tropical cyclone.

Even though Jack has weakened, clouds and rainfall from the former cyclone suspended the aerial search for the missing Malaysian airliner on Tuesday according to ABC News. The search is currently taking place about 1,000 miles northwest of Perth, Australia, as at least 10 ships continue to search the region despite rougher seas.

Infrared Satellite imagery from Tuesday night, local time, shows the remnants of Tropical Cyclone Jack west of Australia (via the Bureau of Meteorology)

The remnants of Jack will approach Western Australia late this week; however, any impacts to the state will be minimal and in the form of increased showers.

Attention now turns to the Arafura and Timor seas where an area of unsettled weather could lead to possible tropical development.

A broad area of showers and thunderstorms that has persisted over the weekend near Indonesia will drift southward this week with the possibility of a more focused area of lower pressure developing over the open Arafura Sea to the north of Northern Territory.

This area of unsettled weather has already produced 25-75 mm (1-3 in) of rain across southeast Indonesia as it drifted southward.

Satellite imagery from Monday night, local time, shows some convection across the Timor and Arafura seas, where slow development is possible this week. (via the Bureau of Meteorology)

Regardless of tropical development, squally weather will impact the northern portion of the Northern Territory as well as western parts of the Cape York Peninsula much of this week. In general, 50-100 mm (2-4 in) of rain can fall during this time, but higher amounts will be possible if development into an organized cyclone occurs.

Winds will generally be less than 65 kph (40 mph), but a few higher gusts caused by thunderstorms cannot be ruled out.

Meteorologist Eric Leister contributed to this story.

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