Oz Cyclone Chasers Cyclone Blog
DARWIN TO FACE HIGHEST TC RISK OF THE SEASON
Well folks, our subscribers have known about this developing system for over a week and given models have continued to firm, we can confidently say the NT North and NW Coasts are facing their highest TC risk all season. In fact, we have to look back to TC Lam in 2015 for the last time we had a reasonable threat to the NT Coast. At this stage a low has developed approximately 450kms North of Nhulunbuy and is expected to develop slightly as it takes a SW track. Most modelling has been in agreement that the system will head towards the North and NW NT Coast but vary on whether it will reach TC intensity. If it does reach TC intensity it will be named TC BLANCHE. The BOM this afternoon have given it a Moderate chance (up to 50%) of becoming a TC so reasonably good odds.
Irrespective of the intensity forecast, this low still needs to be watched as it's also riding a strong equatorial Rossby wave (westward moving tropical wave). Quite often these have ended up being good producers of TCs for the NT and more often than not they don't need a strong monsoon to get them going. At this stage the low is likely to come very close to the Coburg Peninsula late this weekend before continuing on a SW or even Westward track towards the Timor Sea. It could also slip through the Van Diemen's Gulf and end up between Darwin and the Tiwi Islands, perhaps even a bit further south. Sunday and into early Monday are the days to watch out for, but its still subject to the systems speed and other environmental factors before we lock that in.
Modelling looks very similar to TC Laurence back in Dec 2009 which didn't reach TC intensity until passing over Darwin, however given the position and the environment of this low we will definitely need to keep an eye on it. While a side swipe is looking more likely for Darwin, either way it's a good time to get your TC kits ready and start thinking ahead. This is not a time to become complacent even if it's a borderline TC.
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