A tropical storm is expected to develop this weekend or next week around the Coral & Solomon Seas and could grow into a Severe Tropical Cyclone according to WeatherWatch.co.nz.
Northern Queensland is already saturated, in particular around Townsville which has received phenomenal rainfall already this year causing floods which are still being tracked today as the rain-waters continue drain out to sea overwhelming some waterways. The forecast for another potential 100 to 200mm will not be welcome news.
WeatherWatch.co.nz says because the storm hasn’t even formed or been named yet it’s premature to lock in precise tracking. The general feeling is that northern Queensland, from Townsville and Cairns northwards is most exposed. Some modelling suggests the low will track westwards into north Queensland, but the more concerning possible tracking is coming from ECMWF which shows the storm could hug the eastern coastline and track south east down it (towards New Zealand but not likely to affect NZ based on any current modelling). This coastal track will ensure the storm stayed powered at sea and may even increase further in strength, affecting more people.
While the risk of a cyclone forming soon is deemed as ‘high’ any possible tracking still has fairly ‘low’ confidence. Once a tropical storm actually develops we should be able to lock in tracking with more detail. We’ll keep you posted on possible scenarios.
As for New Zealand there is no tropical cyclone threat. On Tuesday this week WeatherWatch.co.nz said there was a 25% chance of a tropical storm impacting NZ over the next week or so, we’ve today lowered this to 15% but haven’t entirely ruled out tropical energy impacting the NZ area this month due to these new developments.
TOTAL ACCUMULATED RAINFALL EXPECTED BETWEEN NOW AND NEXT FRIDAY (8 days)– ECMWF (Europe)
– Next Saturday March 23 shows the potential storm around the Gulf of Carpentaria / GFS (US Govt)
– European modelling from ECMWF shows a potential tropical cyclone hugging the coast near Cairns next Saturday March 23… please note this is NOT locked in yet, this is the current best thinking.
– Close up of air pressure forecast map for next Thursday (one week from now) showing a severe tropical cyclone near Cairns, Queensland. Please note this is NOT locked in, this is simply the current thinking from ECWMF modelling out of Europe. We hope to lock in by this Sunday or Monday. Check back for further updates.
Double Trouble around Aussie next Friday?