Nathan Batters Australia Following Third Landfall
By By Adam Douty, Meteorologist
March 26, 2015, 6:47:44 AM EDT
Former Tropical Cyclone Nathan has been plaguing Australia for more than two weeks, and the threat is not yet over despite weakening over Australia's Top End following a third landfall.
After crossing the northeastern tip of Northern Territory over the weekend, the center of Nathan moved back over the very warm water of the Arafura Sea Sunday night, local time.
Once the center of Nathan hit the warm water, thunderstorms began to develop rapidly around the core of Nathan as the cyclone strengthened for a brief time.
As Nathan continued westward, just off the coastline, interaction with land began to weaken the cyclone. This weakening continued until a third and final landfall occurred Tuesday morning to the west of Maningrida.
Nathan continued to weaken as it moved southwest and farther inland on Tuesday, eventually weakening below tropical cyclone strength.
Despite weakening, locally heavy rain and gusty winds are still possible near and along the track of the remnants of Nathan which will pass south of Darwin Wednesday night.
Darwin will escape the worst of Nathan, but rain and gusty thunderstorms are still possible through Thursday.
The remnants of Nathan will move into the Timor Sea later Wednesday night into Thursday, but redevelopment into a tropical cyclone is not expected at this time.
The weather will improve across Australia's Top End from Friday into the weekend with just isolated showers and thunderstorms.
Tropical Cyclone Nathan formed on March 10, off the northeastern Queensland coast, bringing flooding rain to the region over the course of several days. Over 500 mm (20 inches) of rain fell in a few areas.
The cyclone then slowly moved away from the coast allowing flood waters to recede, only to return making a landfall early Friday morning, March 20, between Cooktown and Cape Melville, as a severe Category 4 tropical cyclone, according to Australia's Bureau of Meteorology.
This brought a second round of flooding rainfall to northeast Queensland. A total of 114 mm (4.47 inches) of rain inundated Cape Flattery on Thursday night into Friday morning with a 24-hour total of 166 mm (6.54 inches) recorded at Battle Camp.
The second landfall occurred over the weekend in the northeastern part of the Northern Territory, near Gove City where winds gusted to near 100 kph (60 mph). More than 200 mm (8 inches) of rain was reported as well.
Meteorologist Eric Leister contributed to this story.
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