New Cyclone threat for Australia?

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The GFS long range weather maps, used by New Zealand and Australian forecasters but produced in America, are picking that a new cyclone may hit northern Australia early next week says

The long range models, which have been highly accurate this summer, predict a weak low will cross the northern tip of Queensland on Friday then rapidly intensify into a cyclone by Monday in the Gulf of Carpentaria.

While this part of Australia is not heavily populated the tropical storm could then head south, dumping more torrential rain on normally dry inland parts, such as Alice Springs, which is this year receiving huge amounts of rain.

Flooding from ex-cyclone Yasi has already caused problems across inland/western Queensland and the Northern Territories.

Of short term interest the Bureau of Meteorology have "high" confidence that another cyclone will form west of Western Australia in the coming days.  The good news is that the predicted cyclone is expected to travel well west of the continent and away from land.

However the long range models show plenty of unstable weather conditions along Australia's north western coastline with one model predicting another low developing west of Darwin and heading inland at the end of next week.  Again, this part of Australia isn't heavily populated but the lows have the potential to continue to string of flash flooding across inland regions says



It won't be over before April

From my point of view these cyclones are really all part of the same event system traversing the northern half of Australia all summer, spanning late December to April. The frequency of these is caused by the combination coming around again of close perigees in the summer season coinciding with the moon positioned near the equator. This comes about every 9 years and this time is being added to by an awakening sun. Whether or not the systems get cyclone names is just an expression of wind strength and they should not be regarded as isolated weather systems but rather as segments of a seasonal event pattern. For February our Pacific report lists a tropical low over the northeast of the Coral Sea affecting the QLD coast by 11th. This low is developing right now. Another tropical low forming over or near the Solomons should spread to Vanuatu by 15th, intensify and maybe get called a cyclone, weaken then intensify again, finally moving SE past the E coast of the North Island. This one should bring rain, some heavy, to parts of Northland and the E coast of the South island around 21-25 February.


I opened up the 2011 almanac for a look, a bit of Déjà vu looking at the daily weather maps for Feb 5 - Feb 24 (pages 98-117). The maps are repeated exactly in a 10 day chunk eg Feb 5 map is the same as the Feb 15 map, Feb 6 is the same as the Feb 16 map and so on. Is this a miss-print or is it intended?

Moot point anyway as the map for 10 February doesn't match what is happening now at all, even looking in 4 day window either side of today.

You're correct. It is a

You're correct. It is a publisher's mistake, not what I supplied them. Out of my control but I will bring it to the publisher's attention. I notice it goes until the 15th which is not the 25th. I will investigate this. Apologies and thanks for pointing it out.

Ken - try La Nina and

Ken - try La Nina and SST's.
The Moon can go where the sun don't shine...

The usual nonsense. Cap'n -

The usual nonsense. Cap'n - have set the BS shields to maximum!

Had some good laughs at a conference about this intrepid predictor - one guy followed the daily isobaric chart predictions for a week or so, seeing them get more and more hopelessly out of whack. There was no point in going any further, given the obvious conclusion.

" tropical low over the

" tropical low over the northeast of the Coral Sea affecting the QLD coast by 11th. This low is developing right now." No it's not. There's a high pressure ridge (opposite of a low) running up the Queensland coast. It's so easy to check, but you rely on people not bothering.

RW Wood, Gary and Guest: why

RW Wood, Gary and Guest: why not just state your own alternative opinion, if you have any? Most odd how my opinion always seems to threaten you. Scientists (like Philip Duncan) usually welcome and are not bothered by opposing viewpoints.

I just did Ken. I presented

I just did Ken. I presented the opinion that you are wrong and there is no low developing in the Coral Sea which according to you was supposed to be affecting the Qld coast today. I based this on the GFS model, which I presented as a link and which has turned out to be correct. This is backed up by the BoM cyclone outlook here: which states "There are no tropical lows in the Coral Sea region, and no significant systems are expected to form in the outlook period". So astrometeorology has lost out again to legitimate forecasting services.

You weren't worth further

You weren't worth further comment Ken. Not even worth further consideration as a subject of chat at the conference. Tough.


bugger it, we are on a cruise to Vanuatu from the 14th!! blimmin weather! > :(

The rougher weather should be

The rougher weather should be north of Vanuatu and also over towards Samoa. For instance I have fine weather for Fiji around 17th, with heavy rain not due there til 21st. So things may not be so bad. Good luck!