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Tropical Cyclone Lua (17S) Set to Make Landfall Over Australia – March 17th, 2012

18.6S 114.6E

March 17th, 2012 Category: Image of the day, Tropical Cyclones

Tropical Storm Lua (17S) - March 16th, 2012

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Track of TS 17S - March 16th, 2012 © Univ. of Wisconsin

Track of TS 17S

Tropical Cyclone Lua (17S), located approximately 150 nm north of Port Hedland, Australia, has tracked southeastward at 13 knots over the past six hours. Port Hedland radar imagery indicates the LLCC passed over Rowley Shoals at approximately 01:00am local time.

Animated infrared satellite imagery indicates that the system has increased its horizontal extent while maintaining tightly-curved bands wrapping into a well-defined low-level circulation center (LLCC). Recent microwave satellite imagery reveals the deepest convection is location along the western semi-circle of the LLCC, which is due to light to moderate (10-20 knots) easterly vertical wind shear. The current intensity is assessed at 90 knots. Maximum significant wave height is 32 feet. Sustained 10-minute winds were reported at 73 knots.

TC 17S is forecast to continue tracking southeastward, making landfall east of Port Hedland in approximately 12 hours. The system is forecast to reach a peak intensity of 95 knots prior to landfall and then rapidly weaken with dissipation over land forecast by TAU 36.

Tropical Cyclone Lua (17S) Forecast to Intensify

15.8S 108.8E

March 16th, 2012 Category: Tropical Storms

Tropical Storm Lua (17S) - March 15th, 2012

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Track of TS 17S - March 15th, 2012 © Univ. of Wisconsin

Track of TS 17S

Tropical Cyclone Lua (17S), located approximately 375 nm northwest of Port Hedland, Australia, has tracked eastward at 10 knots over the past six hours. Animated infrared satellite imagery shows tightly curved convective banding wrapping into a low level circulation center (LLCC).

A microwave image depicts a low level eye feature, from which the initial position is based. Initial intensity is estimated at 65 to 77 knots. Upper level analysis indicates excellent radial outflow and low vertical wind shear. TC 17S has increased in translation speed over the past 12 hours due to the steering influence of a strengthening deep layer steering ridge to the north.

Lua is expected to turn poleward as the steering ridge reorients. The system is forecast to intensify under favorable upper level conditions and high ocean heat content with the peak intensity between TAU 24 and 36. Maximum significant wave height is 27 feet.

Tropical Cyclone Lua (17S) Off Coast of Australia – March 15th, 2012

17.9S 108.8E

March 15th, 2012 Category: Image of the day, Tropical Storms

Tropical Storm Lua (17S) - March 14th, 2012

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Track of TS 17S - March 14th, 2012 © Univ. of Wisconsin

Track of TS 17S

Tropical Cyclone Lua (17S), located approximately 385 nm north of Learmonth, Australia, has tracked east-southeastward at 02 knots over the past six hours. Animated infrared satellite imagery shows a symmetrical area of deep convection over a low level circulation center (LLCC) with tight spiral banding.

The initial intensity is assessed at 60 knots. Maximum significant wave height is 23 feet. Upper level analysis indicates TC 17S is approximately 05 degrees equatorward of a ridge axis with a point source to the northeast. The current VWS is moderate (20 knots). Animated water vapor imagery shows that Lua has maintained good outflow, offsetting the effects of the vertical wind shear (VWS).

The system is currently completing a turn to the southeast and is forecast to track southeastward under the steering influence of a deep layer ridge north of the australian continent. The along-track VWS is expected to relax towards the ridge axis allowing the system to continue steady intensification until making landfall after TAU 48. TC 17S will dissipate over land by TAU 96.