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TOP END TO FIRE UP......AGAIN

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.

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