The monsoon trough is strengthening, bringing an increased risk of cyclone activity to Australian waters.
Currently located over the northern parts of WA and the NT, the monsoon trough is a region of high moisture and instability that commonly spawns low pressure systems. These lows then have the potential to produce heavy rain and squally winds and occasionally grow into tropical cyclones.
There is a moderate to high chance of at least one tropical cyclone developing in Australian waters this week. The most likely location is over northwest waters, with northern waters also at significant risk.
A weak low pressure system has formed over waters in the northwest Gulf of Carpentaria. This low is currently expected to move west towards the Timor Sea and may intensify. This system is rated as having a 20-50% chance of developing into a tropical cyclone on Tuesday.
Another low pressure system over northwest waters is even more likely to intensify into a tropical cyclone. This system has the potential to track over the Kimberley or Pilbara coast bringing another bout of heavy rain and squally winds, following Tropical Cyclone Heidi’s visit earlier this month.
Image courtesy of NASA