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Hamish Downgraded to Category 2

March 11th, 2009 Category: Tropical Cyclones

Tropical Cyclone 18P (Hamish) - March 10th, 2009 © JTWC

Tropical Cyclone 18P (Hamish) - March 10th, 2009

TC 18P - March 9th, 2009 © JTWC

TC 18P - March 9th, 2009

Tropical Cyclone 18P (Hamish) has weakened to a Category 2.

The Australia Weather Bureau announced that as of 10 A.M. local time it was located about 185 kilometers (115 miles) east-northeast of Sandy Cape and moving northwest. It is expected to turn to the northwest later today and to continue to weaken.

The bureau issued a severe weather warning for “strong to gale-force winds and large waves” along the southeast Queensland coast.

Tropical Cyclone 18p (Hamish), located approximately 230 nautical miles northeast of Brisbane, Australia, has tracked westward at 4 knots over the past 6 hours.

Animated multispectral satellite and recent microwave imagery show a fully exposed low level circulation center (LLCC) tracking westward (see close-up) away from the deep convection which is sheared to the East.

The current position and motion are based upon the animated imagery as well as a QSCAT image.

The current intensity is based on Dvorak estimates ranging from 35 to 55 knots and the previously mentioned QSCAT image.

After reversing direction near 10/12Z the system has tracked slowly westward over the past 12 hours, and is forecast to track increasingly northwestward under the steering influence of a low- to mid-level subtropical ridge which is building west and south of the system. This development is evident on the 10/12z 700 mb analysis.

TC18p will maintain slow forward track speed as it battles competing steering flow between the primary influence to the west and south and northwesterly flow originating from a weaker ridge building to the Northeast.

Hamish will weaken steadily over the forecast period and ultimately dissipate as a significant tropical cyclone near TAU 48 while moving northwestward along the Australian coast. This forecast is based upon the majority of dynamic aids (with the exception of NGPS and WBAR) which depict the northwesterly motion and continued weakening trend.

Maximum significant wave height at 110000z is 20 feet.

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