Tropical Cyclone Rusty (17S) Stationary Over Past Six Hours17.9S 116.7E
Tropical Cyclone Rusty (17S), located approximately 70 nm north- northeast of Port Hedland, Australia, has been stationary over the past six hours. Maximum significant wave height is 21 feet.
Animated enhanced infrared satellite imagery shows a recent increase in deep convection within the eyewall structure. The low level circulation center (LLCC) has slowed over the past 12 hours and for the past six hours has been completely stationary.
Sea surface temperatures near the coast are very favorable (32 degrees Celsius) and have been enhancing the system’s intensity, which is currently at 95 knots. The current intensity is based on Dvorak estimates from PGTW, KNES and APRF ranging from 90 to 105 knots.
Upper level analysis indicates radial outflow continues to support the intensification, with a mid-latitude trough south of the LLCC providing additional support to the southeastern outflow channel. The trough appears to be weakening the western extent of a subtropical high (STH) located over Central Australia, which has been the primary steering influence.
As the trough continues to track eastward, the STH should re-engage causing the system to track southward into southwestern Australia. Intensity should persist over the next 12 hours until TC 17S makes landfall around TAU 24. Beyond TAU 36 increasing land interaction and vertical wind shear will quickly lead to dissipation of Rusty as a tropical cyclone. Model guidance is in good agreement with the forecast track and weakening scenario once the system makes landfall. Based on the good agreement in model guidance, there is high confidence in the forecast track.