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Oz Cyclone Chasers Cyclone Blog

Welcome to our OCC Blog! We will be posting frequently on this blog so please check back for new items regularly. You can also subscribe to get notifications of new posts.


Sorry to add salt into the wounds of Queenslanders, but things are looking 'interesting' again for the NT Top End later this week and into next weekend.We say 'interesting' as many thought that would be relatively dry for at least the next 3-4 weeks. However, that's not quite looking like the case as we begin to see a broad area of low pressure develop around the Gulf of Carpentaria/Eastern Top End this week.The Trough will be aided by the SE surge currently racing up the QLD Coast and with a firm ridge to the south we are going to see this area of low pressure begin to track west across the Top End.Most current modelling (see GFS Image attached) has this area of low pressure consolidating, albeit weakly, somewhere near the NW Top End around Darwin/Tiwi Islands towards the weekend. While it's not looking like anything significant at this stage, we can't discount the impact of any low pressure system lurking around this neck of the woods at this time of year. With high atmospheric moisture levels, there is always the chance of localised enhanced rainfall/ storms in areas of convergence associated with such a system.

At this stage, watch out for areas of enhanced storm activity, initially around the Eastern Top End before becoming more widespread towards the latter part of the week. As always, significant activity will depend on where a low consolidates and how fast it tracks. Sometimes the convergence areas can setup well away from the low centre as it did last week, however, we don't have a Monsoon in play this time so it's unlikely to be anything significant. Either way, it will be good to see the more traditional East to SE storm steering pattern making a brief comeback to keep the lightning photographers happy.

Looking ahead, there is a high chance of a dry week or two towards the end of February before the Monsoon gets organised again sometime in early March. This will obviously dependant on many factors, but if past behaviour of the MJO pulse is anything to go by it's a likely outcome.If you want more detailed in depth forecast become a subscriber to hear Nitso give a comprehensive run down when/if significant weather develops. He also gives regular updates on what to expect for the month ahead in terms of TC activity. You can subscribe for a small fee which also gives you access to our high resolution Weather Centre for 12 months, go to*******************************************************************************************************************

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​We have been monitoring the Monsoon Trough development in the Arafura Sea for some time now and to be honest have been reluctant to say much given so much model uncertainty. At this stage the Monsoon Trough is becoming very active but it is also a complex setup with a smaller secondary low or eddy possible near Gove. At lunchtime Saturday the main low is roughly 520kms NW of Maningrida and the BOM have mentioned it in their TC Outlook attached further below. They give it a moderate ch...
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Darwin get set for a wild weekend of squally storms and possible gales. A Tropical low has been developing over the last few days in the Arafura Sea and will drift SW to be near Darwin on Sunday. When the low develops into a TC it will be named TC BLANCHE. Images below show the likely position of the system on Sunday, as you can see gales will likely begin to affect the Darwin area later this weekend into early Monday morning. Often with this type of scenario it's not uncommon to see waterspouts...
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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 agre...
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Very active monsoonal conditions are expected in the Top End from today with the NW Coast including Darwin expecting squally conditions by Sunday night.  Interestingly, a very small surface eddy formed just to the east of Darwin this morning which could locally enhance rainfall in the region. These types of features are very common in Monsoon Troughs and are not easy to forecast. As the trough slowly migrates southwards to near the base of the Top End this week, squally NW winds w...
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In some good news for the Top End, the monsoon flow to the north of the continent looks to have become more active today as shown on the IR Satellite Imagery from our weather centre. Darwin had its first decent shower in weeks this afternoon which is a good sign the suppressed garbage you have all endured has finally buggered off! There has also been some good storm and shower activity around Gove and Katherine today while areas in the Barkly District are still forecast ...
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​It's always difficult to pin the tail on the donkey or in this case pinpoint the low over the Top End. The low has moved slowly west over the last 24hours which was a little earlier than a few models had anticipated. The latest BOM Tropical Cyclone Outlook has it located at 14.3S 130.0E which is just to the east of Port Keats, we have overlayed it on our 500M Visible Sattelite Image out of the  OCC Subscriber Weather Centre below. ​For the keen radar watches you might be forgiven...
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​The NT low is on the move north and can be clearly seen on the OCC weather centres 500m Visible satellite image loop. At this stage the low is just to the south of Katherine but has shown signs of accelerating north. As a consequence of the low moving closer, the monsoonal flow over Darwin and the western Top End finally has a 'trigger' again and the weather should begin to deteriorate quite rapidly this evening and continue for the next few days. ​The image below shows how the low is effective...
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Monsoon Trough continues to strengthen

Monsoonal conditions continuing to establish themselves across the Top End and the Gulf. It even looks as though a low is trying to get itself organised to the south of Katherine but still early days yet. Models agree on an active Monsoon for the NT Coast but still a little uncertainty with regard to where any lows will initially form.  Any lows that do form over the Top End are likely to take an initial NW track with some modelling going for a deepening one in the Joseph Bonapart...
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The Top End and Darwin week ahead

Well folks the models have firmed significantly in these last few days, because it's nearly Christmas and the word 'cyclone' likes to be thrown around a bit especially around Darwin we thought it would be a good time to give a quick run down of current modelling and what to expect in the Top End, particularly Darwin this coming week. As most of our subscribers would already be aware, we do have a low expected to form either just to the North of NW of the Tiwi Islands and begin to ...
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What's going on in the Top End?

​It's been a frustrating week for Top Enders as they continue to wait for the monsoon trough to form, unfortunately the forecast inland trough last week wasn't strong enough to produce widespread showers and storms. While there have been good falls around many places have missed out. Darwin in particular has endured more above average temps and the 3rd month in a row recording well below average rainfall.  Darwin has basically been sitting In the doldrums for nearly a week with no winds ups...
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Thought we would take the opportunity to have a closer look at some climatic modelling for Australia later in the year and the news is quite encouraging. Firstly there are two very dominant influences on our weather, one is the Indian Ocean to our west and the Pacific to our east. Unfortunately, late in 2015 we faced a double whammy for suppressed conditions in Australia with the onset of a very strong El Nino in the Pacific and making matters worse, a positive Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) in the I...
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