First Tropical Cyclone of the Season
Tropical Cyclone Dahlia has become the first tropical cyclone in the Australian Region this season.
Tropical Cyclone Dahlia is currently a category 2 system with sustained winds of 95km/h and wind gusts up to 130km/h. As of 3am WST it was situated 485km east of Christmas Island and 1310km North Northwest of Exmouth in the Timor Sea.
It formed as a category 1 tropical cyclone in the Indonesian Region on Wednesday 29th November. On Friday, it moved south into the Australian region of responsibility.
While it is currently in the Australian region, Dahlia maintains its Indonesian name that it was given when it originally formed. The first tropical cyclone to develop in the Australian region will be named Hilda.
TC Dahlia may also be the first severe tropical cyclone of the season if it develops into a category 3 system. This would be quite significant as it would be the earliest to do so in 12 years.
TC Dahlia is expected to continue its path south before swinging towards the Pilbara on Monday. Fortunately, the waters it must travel over are cooler than the crucial 26.5 degrees celsius that are required to energise a tropical cyclone. This means that Dahlia should weaken below tropical cyclone strength well before it reaches the Australian Mainland.
Despite Dahlia not forecast to make landfall, wave heights will still increase along the northwest shelf of Western Australia. It is advisable to stay up to date with the latest TC bulletin from the Bureau of Meteorology at http://www.bom.gov.au/products/IDW60285.shtml.
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