First Tropical Cyclone of the Season

By Eric Leister, Meteorologist
January 07, 2013; 4:14 AM
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Satellite image from Sunday showing showers and thunderstorm just north of Australia.

While much of Australia swelters through an ongoing heat wave, northwestern parts of Western Australia need to keep their eyes on an area of unsettled weather just north of the country.

A slowly organizing area of low pressure to the northwest of Australia could become the first official tropical cyclone of the season in the next day or two.

This area of unsettled weather has become better organized in the past 24 hours with showers and thunderstorms developing around the center of circulation. Winds in the area of the disturbed weather are currently averaging 15-25 knots as organization continues.

Sea surface temperatures are very favorable for further development across this region and wind shear will remain relatively light in the next couple of days. This combination will likely allow the unsettled weather to continue to develop.

If this tropical cyclone forms, all interests in northwest Australia should keep close attention on the storm. The areas that look most likely to be affected by this storm would be locations near the coast from Exmouth to Broome in Western Australia.

Pending development, conditions appear favorable for intensification over open water before the storm would approach coastal regions with strong winds and potentially flooding rainfall during the middle and later part of next week.

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