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Tropical Cyclone Laurence (06S) Makes Landfall in Australia

14.2S 128.8E

December 15th, 2009 Category: Tropical Storms

Tropical Cyclone Laurence (06S) - December 13th, 2009

Tropical Cyclone Laurence (06S) - December 13th, 2009

Track of TC 06S - December 14th, 2009 © Univ. of Wisconsin

Track of TC 06S

Enhanced image

Enhanced image

Tropical Cyclone Laurence (06S) tracked through Darwin Australia this weekend before sliding back into the Timor Sea and is now forecast to make a second landfall in Australia. The storm is forecast to make landfall north of Wyndham in the Kimberley region, then parallel the coastline while moving over land for the next couple of days, heading southwest through the northern area of the Great Sandy Desert and into the Pilbara region.

Laurence is currently located approximately 250 nautical miles west-southwest of Darwin, Australia, and has tracked westward along the northwestern periphery of the mid-level subtropical steering ridge at 6 knots over the past six hours. Maximum significant wave height is 14 feet.

Upper-level analysis indicates the system is near the subtropical ridge axis and animated water vapor imagery shows good poleward and equatorward outflow. Accordingly, the system has intensified over the last 6 to 12 hours and an AMSR-E microwave image shows tightly wrapped banding and a microwave eye. Wyndham radar imagery also shows the wrapping convection and apparent low level circulation center, confirming the position.

TC 06S is expected to continue tracking generally west-southwestward along the northwestern coast of Australia throughout the forecast period. In the near term, an approaching mid-latitude trough will pass to the south but enable the steering ridge to remain oriented north-south, allowing the system to begin tracking south-southwestward over the next 24 hours.

By TAU 48, however, the system should weaken slightly as it interacts over land and it will turn more westward as a lobe of the steering ridge builds more southwestward. After TAU 96, the system should track back over very warm water and begin to re-intensify under favorable environmental conditions.

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