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7 04, 2017

Tropical Cyclone Ernie develops

Tropical Cyclone Ernie was officially named early on Friday morning and has become the 6th Cyclone for the season, in what is now shaping up as a season which is making up for lost time. Above image via NOAA

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Tropical Cyclone Ernie was officially upgraded from Invest 94S (Tropical Low) into a Category 1 Cyclone just before 5am AEST and then upgraded to a Category 2 system shortly before 11am AEST. This system remains in a favourable environment for further intensification as it lingers in the Indian Ocean approximately 1000km North-West of Port Hedland or around halfway between the WA Coast and the Christmas/Cocos Island region. Very warm Indian Ocean waters of 28-30ºc are present in the vicinity of the Cyclone and this combined with slightly favourable vertical wind shear could allow for the system to become a Category 3 SEVERE Tropical Cyclone late on Friday night or early on Saturday morning prior to sunrise.

 

 

 

Where does Ernie go from there?? Away into the middle of nowhere. A large and strong high pressure system is forecast to produce a strong ridge over Central and even parts of Northern WA which will block any South-Easterly movement. The shape of the ridge though is likely to mean Ernie will track in a more South-West to Westerly motion and this will mean he enters a more unfavourable environment with slightly cooler sea surface temperatures and slightly higher vertical wind shear. This essentially means beyond Monday, Ernie will struggle to maintain Cyclone strength and will most likely be downgraded. Peak wind gusts of up to 190km/h are expected in the system (Severe Category 3) and apart from some rough seas for any vessels in the region.. nobody at all is expected to be impacted by this system.

European Model via WindyTV showing Category 3 strength at 1am Saturday

European Model via WindyTV showing Category 3 strength at 1am Saturday

 

While this system isn’t impacting anyone, we believe its still worth mentioning that is has developed into a Cyclone as it will be added to an ever-growing tally. After a very slow start to the Season once again, and what seemed to be another flop of a season, Ernie is the 3rd Cyclone to develop in 2 weeks and it may not be done with there as eyes are watching another possible system across the NT and Northern WA region for next week which models are consolidating on.

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6 04, 2017

Tropical Low could become Cyclone Ernie

It looks like the Indian Ocean is about to fire up with some tropical activity as the potential for tropical cyclone development increases this weekend. Above image via WindyTV (Euro Model, Saturday morning Wind Gusts)

A monsoon trough has become active once again across the Northern Indian Ocean, North of the Northern Territory and across the Northern Coral Sea. This trough over the last 12-24hrs (late Wednesday into Thursday) has developed a tropical low which is currently situated about 1200km North-West of Port Hedland / 1400km West-North-West of Broome as of midday AWST on Thursday.

This low is showing all the signs of further development with strong convection and consistent convection being highly noticeable along with convective banding which is producing lightning, wrapping into the low level circulation centre.

 

 

Over the course Friday and especially into Saturday, the system is expected to track South to possibly South-East along/ahead of a high pressure Ridge which will steer the system into a favourable environment of low level wind shear and very warm sea surface temperatures. During this time the system has a good chance of becoming Cyclone Ernie with all modes on board for cyclonic strength. Damaging to possibly destructive winds and dangerous seas pose the biggest threat.

During Sunday onwards, the Ridge will move through and the system will likely be steered towards the South-West and into an unfavourable environment.

Note: this is unlikely to pose a threat to Mainland Australian or the Christmas/Cocos Island region! However conditions will be closely monitored

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4 04, 2017

Debbie by numbers, one of Queensland’s worst systems

A week ago, newsfeed’s and media pages were being bombarded by Debbie as she took centre stage across global news. Debbie crossed the Queensland Central Coast 7 days ago, and while her devastation is still being felt, her impacts are still lingering and her heartache still present… there is a certain specialty about Debbie that we believe needs to be honoured as her raw officially recorded details will go down in history making her one of Queensland’s worst tropical systems. Above image via NASA.

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Severe Tropical Cyclone Debbie made landfall over Hayman Island during mid morning between 8:45am and 9:30am on March 28th (last Tuesday) as a Category 4 system. Debbie then continued on a slow gruelling track where mainland landfall was recorded at about 1pm just to the West of Airlie Beach. Debbie became the first Cyclone to make landfall in the 2016-17 Tropical Season. Debbie also become the first Cyclone to make landfall in Queensland since Nathan in March 2015 (2 years, 1 week earlier). Debbie is also the fourth system in a row (Ita 2014, Marcia 2015, Nathan 2015) to make landfall at Category 4 strength or higher.

 

Severe TC Debbie track via Wikipedia

Severe TC Debbie track via Wikipedia

 


So what makes Debbie so insane? why is she being compared with Yasi, Larry, Marcia, Tracy and Oswald? Its virtually impossible to compare damage bills at the moment. Yasi tops all with $4.8-5B in damages, Oswald $2.28B, Larry $1.45B, Tracy $1.1B (1974), Marcia $800M. It will take a while for insurances to do their work and tourism industries to assess losses along with flood damage but initial estimates put Debbie at more than $1B and possibly higher (sitting somewhere between Larry and Oswald).

So apart from category and raw money, what other numbers does Debbie hold claim to?

Debbie officially recorded the strongest wind gust in Queensland, and second strongest in Australian history with a 263km/h wind gust observed at Hamilton Island. Unofficially, estimated winds from Yasi at South Mission Beach of 285km/h may have trumped Debbie. For argument sake, the strongest won’t be challenged – Barrow Island 408km/h during Severe TC Olivia 1996. Hamilton Island also saw wind gusts of more than 20okm/h for virtually 6hrs straight from 8am to 2pm roughly, and apart from the odd “low” gust, winds gusted to more than 150km/h for the best part of 15hrs straight (12:50am to 4pm).

Unofficial reports out of Airlie Beach saw winds to 240km/h and unofficial estimations of 125-160km/h at Collinsville, while officially Proserpine recorded 165km/h winds, Bowen 148km/h, Double Island Point 124km/h, 100-120km/h across South-East QLD, Coastal parts of the Wide Bay and Capricornia and across the Central Highlands.

Somewhat related to the winds, was Debbie’s overall size. During Debbie’s very early stages of life, the system measured in the vicinity of 1300km from the NW outer bands to the South-East outer bands which is a phenomenally large size (potentially second in size behind Yasi). When Debbie first developed an eye, it was roughly 100-120km in diameter also which is huge. Upon landfall, luckily the overall size dropped to about 400km and the eye size dropped to about 35km in diameter which meant the wind swath was far less.

 

Many cyclones produce phenomenal rainfall totals, especially the Coastal trackers such as Debbie and Oswald. While Debbie’s numbers aren’t the worst overall, they are certainly challenging the worst over a 48hr period. The only thing different between Oswald and Debbie would be Oswald was across 4 days not 2-3, and Oswald’s ridiculously high totals were far more widespread whereas Debbie’s widespread totals were more manageable and there were pockets of insanity.

Top 10 Rainfall (mm):
Mt William 1328
Undercliff 1198
Clarke Range2 1157
Clarke Range 1023
Marian Weir 907
Upper Springbrook 896
Crystal Brook 881
Upper Finch Hatton 809
Sarina 801
Hannaville 795

Highest Daily Totals (mm):
Clarke Range2 646
Upper Springbrook 602
Mt William 568
Undercliff 544
Clarke Range 535
Undercliff 532
Couchy Creek 507
Boat Harbour 478
Mt William 470
Terania Creek 466

Highest 2 day totals (mm):
Undercliff 1076
Mt William 1038
Clarke Range2 986
Upper Springbrook 890
Clarke Range 861

Queensland rainfall for the week ending April 4th via BOM

Queensland rainfall for the week ending April 4th via BOM

 

Flood records were also not only broken by smashed by Debbie. Rockhampton is on the brink of recording its third highest level for the Fitzroy ever, while Murwillumbah, Uki and Lismore’s 1954 record for the Tweed was obliterated by up to a metre or more. The Logan and Albert River’s challenged the 1887 record in Logan and the Northern Gold Coast while Beaudesert went 6m above major smashing the 1991 record by more than 1m. This widespread flooding has unfortunately impacted many people and tragically also taken lives from us. Any cyclone with a major damage bill is bad, but one that takes lives is worse and we feel for the family and friends who have to deal with their grief. Our thoughts go out to them through a very very difficult time.

 

Major flooding at Logan via Andrew Rich

Major flooding at Logan via Andrew Rich

 

The 1954 flood line broken in Murwillumbah

The 1954 flood line broken in Murwillumbah

 

 

Whether or not Debbie’s numbers stack up against the worst of the worst, her overall impact will be longly regarded as something significant not only in Queensland, but Australian’s weather. Her impacts will be felt through millions of households for a long period of time and her name will forever be remembered like the monsters mentioned earlier in this blog.

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3 04, 2017

Debbie not done with yet!! Next stop – NZ

Who said Debbie was over?? New Zealand is now firmly in the cross hairs of Debbie as she eyes off the Country for a 3 day stop over, producing widespread severe and dangerous weather covering both Islands, however its the North Island thats most at risk. Above image 6 day rainfall via EC/WindyTV for New Zealand (pink >100mm, purple >300mm)

Across Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, widespread heavy rainfall with widespread falls of 100-200mm and isolated falls of up to 400mm are likely across the North Island, while the South Island should see falls of 50-150mm through areas North of Christchurch. This kind of rainfall is likely to result in flooding through areas over the North Island and Flash Flooding across the South Island. Along with the rainfall, is the wind.. damaging to destructive winds gusting between 100 and 140km/h are likely across large parts of the North Island as Debbie crosses the South Island. Dangerous seas and a storm surge are likely to add insult to injury.

 

New Zealand Metservice Severe Weather Outlook

New Zealand Metservice Severe Weather Outlook

 

 

TUESDAY: During Tuesday, Debbie is forecast to be located well North-West of Auckland and remaining on a South-East track. All models are in agreement that a trough is forecast to develop across Northern parts of the North Island during the morning and remain there throughout the afternoon which will likely lead to showers and rain areas increasing, although nothing exceptional is expected rainfall total wise. A clash of winds (generated by a high South-East of Invercargill and Debbie North-West of Auckland) is expected to see gusts of 70-100km/h develop across the Taranaki Bight and Cook Strait during Tuesday morning, increasing to 90-125km/h, possibly higher by the evening. This will include Wellington. Nelson, Palmerston North and Whanganui. Dangerous seas of more than 7m are forecast to be well offshore from New Plymouth, with waves maxing at about 5m closer to the Coast making any ocean work treacherous.

WEDNESDAY: Debbie is forecast to be located West of New Plymouth and still tracking in a South-Easterly direction. Models agree that the trough located over the North Island during Tuesday should drag down towards Wellington and the South Island during Wednesday. Models also agree that a secondary surface low is likely to develop off the East Coast of the South Island during Wednesday, enhancing all severe weather elements across the region. This will likely lead to widespread heavy rain across the North Island where daily falls of 100-200mm are likely, leading to widespread flash flooding and some creek and river flooding. Rain areas are forecast to develop and increase through areas North of Christchurch as the day progresses into night. Falls of 50-100mm are likely across Wednesday through the Northern half of the South Island. Winds across the East Coast (Hastings to Christchurch) are forecast to increase, whilst remaining the same through the Taranaki Bight and Cook Strait with gusts of 90-125km/h, possibly higher. Seas are forecast to turn quite dangerous in the early hours of Wednesday morning, lasting throughout the day across the East Coast also (from Hastings to Christchurch) with waves to 6m likely. There is also a risk of thunderstorms in association with the trough/convergence line. Some tornado/waterspout potential cant be ruled out due to strong turning winds in the atmosphere. The highest threat for thunderstorms will be over the North Island and through areas North of Westport and Kaikoura on the South Island.

THURSDAY: Debbie is forecast to be located South-East of Christchurch and moving away from the country. Strong gale force winds may remain active over the Mountains on the South Island, through Taranaki Bight and Cook Strait along with parts of the South Island, however most of the rainfall is expected to ease apart from some scattered lighter showers. Open waters should remain rough, but conditions closer to shore should be calmer.

 

 

 

 

Forecast wind gusts (purple >80km/h) Wednesday afternoon via WindyTV

Forecast wind gusts (purple >80km/h) Wednesday afternoon via WindyTV

30 03, 2017

Heavy Rain, Flash Flooding, Severe Weather to lash South-Eastern QLD!!!

South-Eastern QLD is about to be put under the pump by the remnants of Severe Tropical Cyclone Debbie as the region cops a 36hr onslaught. Above image: HSC Premium Members Rainfall map for Thursday

While there is an extensive list of severe weather in store for the South-East QLD Coast, Wide Bay and Burnett, Darling Downs, Granite Belt, Capricornia and even extending into the Northern Rivers, Northern Tablelands and Mid North Coast of NSW… the focus will be on the heavy rain due to its widespread nature.

Widespread falls of 100mm+ are LIKELY to impact areas along and East of the Great Dividing Range from Gladstone to Port Macquarie. This INCLUDE Brisbane, Gold Coast, Gold Coast Hinterland, Sunshine Coast & Hinterland, Gympie, Maryborough, Bundaberg, Ipswich, Scenic Rim and many other places. There is also the potential for isolated to even scattered pockets of 200mm+ across these same regions, and up to 300mm or more around the Border Ranges such as Upper Springbrook. This kind of rainfall is LIKELY to produce Flash Flooding, especially for known flood spots. Rivers such as the Mary, Brisbane, Fitzroy and Bremer should be okay!! Rivers and Creeks may see rises, but nothing too extraordinary. 

Falls of 50mm+ are possible around the Darling Downs, Northern Inland NSW and though remaining areas of the Capricornia, however this will solely depend on the final track of Debbie as areas West and North of her will see much “calmer” weather in the grand scheme of things.

BOM Thursday Rainfall Forecast

BOM Thursday Rainfall Forecast

 

 

What else is expected???

There is a risk of damaging to destructive winds along the elevated Ranges such as the Great Dividing Range and Granite Belt regions, D’Aguilar Ranges, Border Ranges and Sunshine Coast Hinterland. There is also the possibility of damaging to destructive winds along the direct Coastline due to the intense onshore wrap. These destructive gusts should be localised while strong to damaging winds should impact most places.

There is also a risk of waterspouts and tornadoes! Yes we get them, yes they are known to occur with these systems (example 1A being Ex-TC Oswald which spawned at least 6 tornadoes). The intense wind profile of the system coupled with a convergence area offshore is expected to create an idealistic turning profile for waterspouts to develop. The onshore draw will pull these cells which contain waterspouts onshore and once they hit land they are classed as tornadoes. They aren’t a guarantee, but with high helicity there is a very elevated risk! 

The image below indicates the amount of turning in the atmosphere, the more negative the number, the more turning and more potential for tornadic activity. No its not exact, but it shows the entire area is under some sort of potential – the greatest potential will be on the Coastline.

GFS Helicity via BSCH

GFS Helicity via BSCH

 

We URGE people DO NOT drive through flooded waters!!!! If its flooded, forget it!! Don’t panic either, this is a 36hr system, our rivers and creeks can handle it. Flash flooding WILL occur, but it also WILL ease eventually (thats why its flash). Most importantly, stay safe, it will be a rough day.

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28 03, 2017

Debbie to drench Central and South-Eastern QLD

Debbie is forecast to leave a lasting imprint on large parts of Queensland with a deluge of rain set to drench Central Inland, Capricornia, Wide Bay, Darling Downs and South-East Coast during the next 48-72hrs (from Tuesday night until Friday morning). Above image 6-day rainfall via WindyTV

Models remain in full agreement that Debbie will weaken from a Category 2 Cyclone at 7pm AEST Tuesday March 28th to a Tropical Depression / Rain Depression during the early hours of Wednesday (March 29th) morning. The remnants of Debbie are expected to track inland towards Central Inland QLD before shifting back South-East over the Central Highlands and through the Capricornia, Wide Bay and South-East Coastal regions. Debbie is expected to move offshore from South-East QLD during Friday and NOT redevelop into a Tropical Cyclone due to very unfavourable conditions.

BOM 4-day rainfall between March 28th and 31st

BOM 4-day rainfall between March 28th and 31st

 

Regardless of her strength, status or anything else… she’s expected to send a deluge of rain over the entire South-Eastern quarter of Queensland hopefully filling dams, greening yards up and filling those tanks. On Wednesday, the majority of activity is expected to be over Central Inland QLD near the Ex-TC will be located, along with the Capricornia then spreading into the Wide Bay and possibly the Sunshine Coast later on due to a deep onshore flow. Widespread falls of 50-100mm are likely with localised falls of 200-300mm also likely – mainly over Central Inland and Capricornia / Wide Bay Coastal regions.

OCF Forecast Rainfall via BSCH for Wednesday (totals are conservative and can be doubled)

OCF Forecast Rainfall via BSCH for Wednesday (totals are conservative and can be doubled)

 

On Thursday, as Ex-Debbie moves towards South-East QLD, rain areas are forecast to increase across the Northern Darling Downs (North of Dalby / Miles) and across large parts of the Wide Bay and South-East Coast even extending into the Northern Rivers of NSW. Widespread falls of 50-100mm are likely with localised falls of 200-300mm possible around the Gold Coast Hinterland Ranges. 

Areas of severe flash flooding, river and creek rises which may lead to flooding are likely across the Capricornia and Central Inland QLD where roads may also be cut hindering travel. Its advised that people DO NOT drive through flooded waters. Flash flooding is likely across the Darling Downs, South-East Coast and Wide Bay with river/creek rises expected.

OCF Forecast Rainfall via BSCH for Thursday (totals are conservative and can be doubled)

OCF Forecast Rainfall via BSCH for Thursday (totals are conservative and can be doubled)

 

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27 03, 2017

Heavy Rain & Flooding to lash large parts of QLD – Update 3

Significant amounts of rainfall leading to flooding is expected to lash an area from the Gold Coast to Townsville and inland to Winton and Miles over the next week as Debbie and the remnants of Debbie hit and move through QLD. Above image via WindyTV (10 day rainfall)

The immediate concern and threat for flooding rain is over the Townsville / Tully area down to St Lawrence and inland across Northern Inland QLD. Despite Debbie containing destructive to very destructive wind gusts and a widespread swath of damaging wind gusts the biggest threat of this system will be the torrential rainfall that is likely to fall over not only the Central and Northern Coastal regions of QLD but extending further South and further inland. Falls between the above mentioned areas are likely to exceed 500mm across the next 3 days with widespread daily totals of 200mm+ likely and isolated daily totals of 400mm+ likely. This kind of rainfall WILL cause significant flash flooding, cut roads and highways which WILL isolate communities and cause creek and river rises.

 

HSC Members Rainfall map for March 27th

HSC Members Rainfall map for March 27th

HSC Members Rainfall map for March 28th

HSC Members Rainfall map for March 28th

 

The next threat area is over Central Inland, Central Highlands and Capricornia – areas from Gladstone to Mackay back inland towards Longreach and Winton. Debbie is forecast to track inland across Central Inland QLD before a ridging pattern steers her back towards the Coast and in a South-Easterly direction. During this period, deep onshore flow created by both the monsoon trough and Debbie / the remnants of Debbie is likely to produce significant rainfall both over an area which has previously seen high rainfall totals (being the Capricornia) and an area which is unable to hold large rainfall totals in a short period of time (being inland QLD). Falls of 100-300mm are likely across large parts of this area with localised falls to 500mm possible between Tuesday and Saturday. This kind of rainfall will lead to significant flooding, town isolation and creek/river rises.

HSC Members Rainfall Map for March 29th

HSC Members Rainfall Map for March 29th

 

The final threat area will be over parts of the Darling Downs, South-East Coast and Wide Bay. Debbie is currently forecast (according to all global models) to move offshore somewhere South of Bundaberg. This will bring heavy rain to the region from Tuesday/Wednesday onwards with some localised high totals expected. Falls of 100-200mm are likely with daily falls of 100mm+ likely also. Localised falls of 300mm+ cant be ruled out however they are more likely from the Sunshine Coast North. There is a defined line through the Northern Darling Downs where areas South of this line will struggle to see much, while areas North could be subject to some localised flash flooding and river/creek rises.

This is a reminder to NOT drive through flooded waters, take the necessary precautions NOW so that you can ensure your safety and well being by either leaving or being stocked with supplies to outlast potential isolation.

8 day rainfall map via BOM from March 27 to April 3 inclusive

8 day rainfall map via BOM from March 27 to April 3 inclusive

 

 

 

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25 03, 2017

Heavy rain ALERT and FLOOD WATCH Eastern/Central QLD – Updated Forecast

** RE-UPDATED FORECAST – CLICK HERE FOR DETAILS **

This is an updated forecast of the potential significant rainfall associated with Tropical / Severe Tropical Cyclone Debbie which is likely to cross the Northern/Central QLD Coastline. Above image via WindyTV (forecast 10 day rainfall. Grey >500mm, pink >200mm)

Models have had a major shift over the last 24-48hrs and have since maintained heavier rainfall further East than previously expected. The ultimate reason for this is due to Cyclone Debbie, or what would be the remnants of Debbie, remaining situated mostly likely East of Winton now. Some models are indicating that the system could briefly head further West than Winton although these same models are now tracking back across the Central Highlands and this comes into alignment and agreement with models who don’t track it past Winton but keep it further East.

The immediate focus for heavy rain which will LIKELY result in significant flash flooding, some creek and river flooding cutting roads and potentially major highways is expected to be between the North of Townsville and as far South as St Lawrence + adjacent inland regions to the Ranges. These areas may see as much as 400mm in a single 24hr period, for 2 days in a row. However these kinds of falls are likely to be isolated, more widespread falls of 200mm+ are likely both days (Monday and Tuesday) with consistent falls occurring across Wednesday onwards as onshore winds continue to feed into Debbie.

BOM Forecast Rainfall March 25 to March 28

BOM Forecast Rainfall March 25 to March 28

 

The second focus will be over Central Inland QLD which may see falls of 100-200mm and isolated higher falls. These areas will be solely reliant on Debbie’s final track. Locally higher falls are possible and this could cause some serious issues due to flooding. The same focus will also be spread over the Capricornia and POSSIBLY into the Wide Bay where falls of more than 500mm are possible along the Capricornia Coast and up to 200mm+ across inland parts of the region and into the Wide Bay. Again, major flash flooding, creek and river flooding are all likely. 

BOM Forecasy Rainfall Mar 29 to April 1st

BOM Forecasy Rainfall Mar 29 to April 1st

 

These models may change again, and if they do, further updates or new blogs will be issued. This is a timely reminder to NOT under any circumstances drive in flood waters. The rain IS COMING, its time to prepare now INCASE you are flooded in.

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25 03, 2017

Debbie is born!

Tropical Cyclone Debbie has been officially named as a Category 1 system in the Coral Sea, approximately 500km North-East of Bowen. Above image via NOAA

Over the past 12-24hrs, strong and explosive convection has developed around the low level circulation centre of the system which has wrapped in and allowed the system to develop further. This intensification process and strength is in full alignment with global modelling.

 

Over the next 24-48hrs, the system is likely to push towards the Northern and Central Queensland Coastline where its CURRENTLY forecast to cross between Townsville and Mackay. A high pressure ridge over the South-West of Queensland is currently the key as to where this system may go. The faster this ridge strengthens, the earlier Debbie will track more towards the West. Global models are also remaining in agreement with the system reaching at least Category 3 strength, possibly Category 4 due to very warm sea surface temperatures of more than 30ºc and low vertical wind shear which will create a very idealistic environment for potentially rapid intensification (which is expected to occur during Sunday).

 

BOM Forecast Track Map issued 11am Saturday 25/3/17

BOM Forecast Track Map issued 11am Saturday 25/3/17

At this stage, the system is forecast to cross between Townsville and Mackay on either Monday afternoon/evening or early on Tuesday. Very destructive winds of more than 165km/h are likely near where the system crosses along with destructive winds extending a considerable distance from the centre due to its size and overall strength. Heavy to very heavy rainfall of more than 300mm in a 24hr period is likely, possibly more and overall falls of more than 500mm are likely from this system as it then tracks inland according to model agreement. How far inland it tracks will be a question better answered once it nears and crosses the Coast.

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24 03, 2017

What happened to Caleb??

All the talk is about Cyclone Debbie and rightfully so as it poses an immediate threat on the QLD Coastline (being the next few days), but what happened to Cyclone Caleb, wasn’t it next in line?? Above image via NOAA as Caleb developed

Yes thats true. The alphabet was up to ‘Male & C’. Caleb was next in line to be named. It was a flip of the coin at one stage as to who would be named Caleb – either a Tropical Low which was racing for the Pilbara Coastline and MAY have had a slim chance of becoming a Cyclone shortly prior to landfall, or… the one which is in the Coral Sea and taking headlines.

 

 

Well the Pilbara system failed to reach any great heights, although it did produce more than 250mm on Port Hedland. So naturally, the selection was going to go to QLD and the Coral Sea for Caleb’s naming rights. That was until another Tropical Low between Christmas and Cocos Island’s in the Indian Ocean, some 3500-4000km West of our Coral Sea focus, decided to have a burst of explosive convection that allowed it to reach the characteristics required for a Cyclone.

Caleb is now playing in the Indian Ocean and the only thing its disturbing is the fishes as its not expected to impact either Island out there, nor is it expected to come anywhere close to mainland Australia. The system is struggling to get much stronger than Category 1 strength and will most likely weaken below Cyclone strength late this weekend or early next week.

So with no other competing systems, the Coral Sea system will inevitably and eventually be named Tropical Cyclone Debbie.

 

Current forecast track map from BOM as of 4pm AWST March 24th (Friday)

Current forecast track map from BOM as of 4pm AWST March 24th (Friday)

 

 

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