Is Australia about to see its next tropical cyclone?
There are increasing signs that a tropical cyclone could develop in Australian waters during the next week as monsoon activity increases over the nation's sodden northeast.
A stagnant pool of humid air and a slow-moving low pressure system caused widespread heavy rain and flooding across northern and western Queensland during the past fortnight.
This rain and flooding also spread into the NT and central Australia's desert regions during the last few days.
Now, a developing monsoon trough is likely to cause further heavy rain and threatens to spawn a tropical cyclone as early as this weekend.
The monsoon trough is expected to become established over northern Queensland and the Gulf of Carpentaria by the weekend. As it does so, conditions will become more conducive for tropical cyclone development in the region.
At this stage, the threat of a tropical cyclone forming this weekend or early next week remains quite general. It depends on if, and where, any low pressure systems develop within the monsoon trough, which is uncertain at this stage.
The latest tropical cyclone outlook issued by the Bureau of Meteorology on Wednesday afternoon gave a moderate chance of tropical cyclone development in or near the Gulf of Carpentaria from Saturday onwards.
This outlook will be updated again this afternoon here: http://www.bom.gov.au/cyclone/outlooks/index.shtml
People living in northern parts of Queensland or the Northern Territory should keep up to date with the latest cyclone information during the days ahead.
The next tropical cyclone to be named in Australian waters will be called Linda.
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