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Severe Tropical Cyclone Christine


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Posted
  • Location: Taunton, Somerset
  • Weather Preferences: Snow, thunder, strong winds. HATE:stagnant weather patterns
  • Location: Taunton, Somerset

    A tropical low has formed in the Josef Bonaparte Gulf, west of the Top End. Convection is increasing over a developing LLCC. The low is heading towards the coast and should make landfall east of Kulumburu in a little over 12hrs time. BOM forecast the low to become a tropical cyclone before this occurs. JTWC assess the chances of TC development as MEDIUM. BOM then forecast 04U to head westwards as ridging builds to the south. Over land, 04U will lose TC status (if it gains it in the first place) but then move back over the warm waters of the southeast Indian Ocean, where redevelopment should occur. It should be noted that some models are indicating quite an intense cyclone moving down the northwest Australian coast as we head towards the New Year.

     

    Posted Image

    Edited by Somerset Squall
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    Posted
  • Location: The Netherlands
  • Location: The Netherlands

    Indeed, it is the second cyclone to develop in the Australian basin. However, this one could become quite troublesome for northwestern Australia, as opposed to Bruce. (which became a cat.5 tropical cyclone in the central Indian ocean). As stated above:

     

     It should be noted that some models are indicating quite an intense cyclone moving down the northwest Australian coast as we head towards the New Year.

     

    The GFS is supporting the idea of a potent TC making landfall in the northwestern coast of Australia.

     

     

    Posted Image

    GFS 12Z T+144h

     

    The GFS shows a minimum pressure below 990 hPa, but as the GFS is not at a very high resolution at this timeframe, the intensity could easily be much higher than that. 

     

    Currently, the system consists of a rather intense blob of deep convection mainly in the eastern half of the circulation.

     

    Posted Image

     

    Conditions are favorable for development, with low wind shear and warm SSTS.

     

    On MIMIC TPW, the very beginnings of the system can be seen developing to the extreme right of the map. Also note the circulation of Bruce 'absorbing' the circulation of Amara, which became very intense cyclones in the last week.

     

    Posted Image

     

    Finally, a new awesome TC analysis product (http://earth.nullschool.net/#current/wind/isobaric/1000hPa/orthographic=-239.81,-11.64,948). The link consists of a full animation of the Earth, and all prevailing winds occuring, at multiple height layers in the atmosphere (1000 hPa up to 10 hPa). What can be clearly seen when one zooms in on 04U, is two distinct feeder bands with moist air flowing into the circulation from the north, along with much drier air originating from Central Australia.

     

    Looking at the 500 hPa wind vectors show an anticyclone positioned to the northwest of 04U, providing the low shear environment. What also can be seen is a very modest poleward outflow(?) channel into Central Australia.

     

    As a concluding remark, it appears that Australia can brace itself for a possibly rather intense TC making landfall next week. Rapid intensification is also a distinct possibility. Let's hope damage won't be severe.

     

    Sources:

    http://tropic.ssec.wisc.edu/#

    http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/

    http://earth.nullschool.net/#current/wind/isobaric/500hPa/orthographic=-246.52,-19.30,948

    http://www.wetterzentrale.de/topkarten/fsfaxsem.html

    Edited by Vorticity0123
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    Posted
  • Location: Taunton, Somerset
  • Weather Preferences: Snow, thunder, strong winds. HATE:stagnant weather patterns
  • Location: Taunton, Somerset

    It would be the third cyclone when it forms Vorticity, behind Alessia and Bruce. :)

     

    BOM no longer forecast this system to reach TC strength before first landfall, but it should still become a TC when it emerges over water. Looks like it could become a dangerous storm as you say Vorticity. What are the chances would you say of the low not emerging back over water?

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    Posted
  • Location: The Netherlands
  • Location: The Netherlands

    It would be the third cyclone when it forms Vorticity, behind Alessia and Bruce. Posted Image

     

    You're completely right! I thought that Bruce and Amara both formed in the RSMC la Reunion area of responsibility (which isn't the case), and I completely forgot about Alessia Posted Image

     

     

     

    BOM no longer forecast this system to reach TC strength before first landfall, but it should still become a TC when it emerges over water. Looks like it could become a dangerous storm as you say Vorticity. What are the chances would you say of the low not emerging back over water?

     

    The low is currently no longer designated by BOM, Australia or CIMSS, making a proper forecast more difficult.

     

    From what I can see from the GFS, it has trended much closer to the Australian coast, but it still develops a strong TC out of 04U.

     

    Posted Image

    GFS 12Z T+84

     

    04U can be seen as the <1000 mb low hugging to the northeastern coast of Australia.

     

    About 2 days later, the cyclone is still located very near the northwestern coast of Australia, but then somewhat more to the southwest and about to make its final landfall.

     

    Posted Image

    GFS T+138.

     

    For a more complete view of the forecasted track of 04U from the GFS, check the image below:

    Posted Image

    GFS 12Z 

     

    The AVNO model (I don't know how reliable the model is) shows the cyclone moving slowly southwestward along the northwestern coast of Australia. The track is more close to the coast than the GFS model.

     

    Posted Image

    AVNO model

     

    Furthermore, the UKMET shows somewhat more of a track further from the coast, with an intensity around 980 hPa at landfall. This would suggest a strong cyclone being more likely. Also note the past track of the low (although I strongly doubt it is correct), it looks pretty fancy.

     

    Posted Image

    UKMET 12Z run

     

    And finally, the steering winds around 04U suggest a northwestern track, but I think the west-southwestern track of the models is more likely.

    Posted Image

    Steering winds 700-850 hPa. The steering winds are mainly valid for tropical cyclones with a pressure above 1000 hPa.

     

    EDIT: Though the Bureau of Meteorology don't give a real-time forecast of 04U, they do have wind forecasts for the sea around Australia, giving an idea of how the track of 04U will evolve. (the official forecast is usually the most likely outcome of a TC). The BOM forecasts the cyclone to move westwards quite far away from land before turning to the southwest and south toward mainland Australia. The final landfall position (not shown here) is also pretty far to the west, compared to what the models are showing, even further west than the UKMET model.

     

    Posted Image

    BOM wind forecast for Australia, friday evening (UTC).

     

    Concluding, though the most robust signals point toward an intense and initially-far-from-land-moving, as well as an intense TC, some models (GFS and AVNO) forecast the cyclone to move parallel and along to the Australian coast with differring intensities. With the GFS in such large disagreement, I think the future track of 04U will become much more clear in a day or so, once it has gained more definition. It will be interesting to see which solution is right, or perhaps it will be something in between.

     

    BTW: well noted, Sommerset Squall, that some signals were pointing toward a track much closer to the Australian coast, such disagreements in forecasted tracks are always very interesting. Especially when impact on land is likely, as a track much closer to the coast can cause a major difference in intensity and possible damage of the cyclone.

     

    Sources:

    http://www.wetterzentrale.de/topkarten/fsavnet.html

    http://tropic.ssec.wisc.edu/

    http://www.ral.ucar.edu/guidance/realtime/plots/southernhemisphere/2014/sh952014/

    http://moe.met.fsu.edu/cyclonephase/ukm/fcst/index.html

    http://www.bom.gov.au/watl/wind/forecast.shtml?unit=p5&location=aus&tz=UTC

    Edited by Vorticity0123
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    Posted
  • Location: The Netherlands
  • Location: The Netherlands

    04U has thrown up a major christmas surprise, as its former LLCC has simply dissipated! It made a possible landfall over Northwestern Australia and it has since then formed a new surface circulation a couple hundred kilometers to the northwest of the original position of the low.

     

    Posted Image

    Tropical low 04U's track, with the landfall into NW Australia.

     

    However, the new low does have a good chance of developing into a tropical cyclone.

     

    From Bureau of Metorology:

     

     

    The tropical system previously located in the Joseph Bonaparte Gulf has developed a new surface centre well to the north of Broome. The system is expected to move roughly parallel to the coast over the next 48 to 72 hours, and is likely to develop into a tropical cyclone on Saturday. 

     

    EDIT: the 'new' tropical low will still be classified 04U, as seen in the technical bulletin from Bureau of Meteorology.

     

    Once again from BOM, but then from the technical bulletin:

     

     

    The system previously located in the Joseph Bonaparte has developed a new
    circulation well to the north of Broome. From a policy perspective the same
    system number has been maintained, however the low level centre appears to be
    developing under new, much broader, mid level circulation.

    Sources:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2013%E2%80%9314_Australian_region_cyclone_season#Tropical_Low_04U

    http://www.bom.gov.au/cyclone/

    Edited by Vorticity0123
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    Posted
  • Location: Hobart, Tasmania
  • Location: Hobart, Tasmania

    To be known as  'Christine'.

     

    Latest:

    Posted Image

     

    In the firing line:

     

    Karratha is a mining town pop 20,000

    Onslow is a predominant tourist town pop 700

    Exmouth is a predominant tourist town pop 2,000

    Mardie is a cattle station

    Edited by Styx
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    Posted
  • Location: The Netherlands
  • Location: The Netherlands

    It looks like 04U is on the verge of becoming Cristine. This would mean it would become the third cyclone in the Australian basin (This time right Posted Image).

    Looking at visible imagery of the cyclone, a well-defined and intense band of deep convection can be seen covering the northern and eastern semicircle. The low level circulation center seems to be located just below the northern part of the convective band, as confirmed by CIMSS and a Visible Imagery loop (NOAA).

     

    Posted Image

    Visible imagery of 04U from NOAA.

     

    On 850 mb vorticity composites of Western Australia, it is also clear that the LLCC of 04U is well defined, indicative of a well-organized tropical cyclone.

    Posted Image

    850 mb vorticity chart from CIMSS

     

    Given that the system does have some elongation east-west (as seen in http://earth.nullschool.net/#current/wind/isobaric/1000hPa/orthographic=-244.15,-13.16,2654)1, intensification will be steady at best in the short term. However, the system is already well-stacked up to 500 hPa, which is indicative of a well developed inner structure.

     

    The elongation, as well as the broad nature of the LLCC, of the system can also be seen in ASCAT (though the pass is slightly outdated):

    Posted Image

     

    Regarding intensity, satellite intensity estimates are not yet available. However, an assessment (from myself, and therefore rather inaccurate) from looking at VIS imagery gives winds of about 45 knots. The link above1 gives winds of about 30 knots, but I suspect those winds are a little outdated, and therefore somewhat weaker than they are in reality.

     

    What is also visible from that imagery is the system is being fed with moisture from just west of the southwestern tip of SW-Australia. Water Vapor imagery also shows that there is some dry air noted in the inflow channel.

     

    Posted Image

    Water vapor imagery. Black colors indicate dry air.

     

    Furthermore, a weak equatorward outflow channel can be seen in the link above1. The poleward outflow channel isn't very well defined yet, but this will most likely change over the next day or so.

    And finally about the structure, the system is larger than the average size of a tropical cyclone, which indicates intensification should be slower than average, but also that a larger area will be impacted by the tropical cyclone.

     

    Quite remarkable that, while my post is becoming rather long, I'm still not past discussing the initial structure of the cyclone Posted Image .

     

    But back to 04U. The GFS has been trending toward an even stronger tropical cyclone, regarding its forecasted intensity. The location of landfall hasn't shifted very much. Note the GFS has a bias of underestimating the intensity of tropical cyclones, and therefore, the minimum forecasted pressure might actually be much lower.

     

    Posted Image

    GFS 12Z T+60h.

     

    The GFS has also shifted northward compared to previous cycles, meaning the cyclone will be impacting less land. From the other side, it also means that the possible maximum intensity at landfall will be higher.

    Posted Image

     

    All in all, it looks like a very dangerous cyclone will soon be impacting the northwestern coast of Australia. Luckily, the area is not very densely populated, as noted by Styx above. Moreover, the lack of time over sea will mean it doesn't have much time to intensify. This doesn't mean, though, that people shouldn't be on their guard.

     

    Sources:

    http://tropic.ssec.wisc.edu/#

    http://www.ssd.noaa.gov/PS/TROP/floaters/98S/98S_floater.html

    http://earth.nullschool.net/#current/wind/isobaric/1000hPa/orthographic=-244.15,-13.16,2654

    http://realtime2.bsch.au.com/wv_sat.html

    http://www.wetterzentrale.de/topkarten/fsavnet.html

    http://moe.met.fsu.edu/cyclonephase/gfs/fcst/archive/13122712/16.html

    http://www.knmi.nl/scatterometer/ascat_osi_25_prod/ascat_app.cgi

    Edited by Vorticity0123
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    Posted
  • Location: Hobart, Tasmania
  • Location: Hobart, Tasmania

    This is a quote from a newspaper article last month regarding a political controversy at the time:

     

     

    Destructive 'Typhoon' Tony

    As the Government moves to repeal the carbon tax, Greens leader Christine Milne has dubbed the Prime Minister 'Typhoon Tony' and linked inaction on climate change to the destructive typhoon that has flattened the Philippines. 13/11/13

    http://media.theage.com.au/news/national-news/destructive-typhoon-tony-4918576.html

     

    So now we have 'Cyclone 'Christine'...?

     

    This is from the BOM website:

     

     

    Tropical cyclone naming policy
    • Tropical cyclone names in each list alternate male and female
    • Names of cyclones that have already significantly affected the Australian region cannot be used again
    • If two or more cyclones are occurring simultaneously, similar sounding names (eg June & Jane) are avoided to minimise confusion
    • Names should not be capable of being construed to subject the Bureau to criticism or ridicule (eg naming a sequence of cyclones after politicians)
    • Lists of names are coordinated with neighbouring meteorological services to avoid duplication

    http://www.bom.gov.au/cyclone/about/names.shtml

     

     

    I think the BOM in choosing the name 'Christine' have come preety close to crossing the line in regards to their protocol of being as apolitical as possible! I have not seen this observation expressed in Australian media yet, it'll be interesting to see if there is a reaction.

     

    The Australian Greens are the third political party in the Australian parliament in terms of seat representation.

    Edited by Styx
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    Posted
  • Location: Taunton, Somerset
  • Weather Preferences: Snow, thunder, strong winds. HATE:stagnant weather patterns
  • Location: Taunton, Somerset

    I think the name was chosen long before this link could've been made lol.

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    Posted
  • Location: Hobart, Tasmania
  • Location: Hobart, Tasmania

    Yes but I was under the impression that destined names could be skipped ? The BOM makes it clear that names on the list are skipped if there is an existing cyclone of a similar name in order to avoid confusion, so this would surely naturally apply in regards to a perception of a naming being politically controversial? It's on the webpage I linked to.

     

    Anyway, it doesn't bother me, just thought it curious, and more amusing than anything else.

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    Posted
  • Location: Taunton, Somerset
  • Weather Preferences: Snow, thunder, strong winds. HATE:stagnant weather patterns
  • Location: Taunton, Somerset

    Lol well 04U has been named Christine now as winds have reached 35kts. Convection has started to wrap tighter around the LLCC now, which has become better defined. Conditions appear favourable for intensification right up until landfall, currently progged to be near Karratha in around 48hrs time, though this is subject to change. Christine's large size means it's effects will be felt far from the centre of the cyclone anyway.

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    Posted
  • Location: Taunton, Somerset
  • Weather Preferences: Snow, thunder, strong winds. HATE:stagnant weather patterns
  • Location: Taunton, Somerset

    Christine has strengthened as it moves southwestwards towards the northwest Australian coast. Winds are up to 60kts according to JTWC. Convection is blossoming over the LLCC, and strong banding features continue to flank the storm. Aside from the wind impacts of Christine, it's clear this system is going to cause a lot of flooding.

     

    Posted Image

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    Posted
  • Location: Taunton, Somerset
  • Weather Preferences: Snow, thunder, strong winds. HATE:stagnant weather patterns
  • Location: Taunton, Somerset

    Winds are now at 65kts. Christine is developing a nice eye in latest satellite imagery, I wouldn't be surprised to see Christine become a cat 2 or even 3 on the SS scale, prior to landfall in around 24 hours time:

     

    Posted Image

    Edited by Somerset Squall
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    Posted
  • Location: Taunton, Somerset
  • Weather Preferences: Snow, thunder, strong winds. HATE:stagnant weather patterns
  • Location: Taunton, Somerset

    Christine's winds are now at 70kts. Christine has taken a slighlty more eastward path than originally expected, and landfall is now expected midway between Karratha and Port Hedland. This eastward adjustment in track has given Christine less time over water, so the cyclone may have peaked or be very near peak.

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    Posted
  • Location: Taunton, Somerset
  • Weather Preferences: Snow, thunder, strong winds. HATE:stagnant weather patterns
  • Location: Taunton, Somerset

    Christine is making landfall. Winds are up to 85kts according to BOM and JTWC. Now landfall is occurring, Chrstine will begin to weaken. However, as it is a large cyclone, it could remain at TC strength a long way inland across Western Australia.

    Edited by Somerset Squall
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    Posted
  • Location: Dunolly in country Victoria .. Australia
  • Weather Preferences: snow for sking or a mild spring
  • Location: Dunolly in country Victoria .. Australia

    Collected some snaps and info on TC Christine for anyone who is interested

    link

    http://weathercycles.wordpress.com/2013/12/22/cyclone-threat-for-wa-last-week-of-dec-2013/

    Australian forum thread for this event here

    http://forum.weatherzone.com.au/ubbthreads.php/topics/1228159/Re_Severe_Tropical_Cyclone_Chr#Post1228159

    Edited by crikey
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    Posted
  • Location: Taunton, Somerset
  • Weather Preferences: Snow, thunder, strong winds. HATE:stagnant weather patterns
  • Location: Taunton, Somerset

    Chrstine has held itself together remarkably a long way inland, still a cat 1 TC on the Australian scale into central Western Australia!

     

    post-1820-0-44546000-1388487389_thumb.jp

     

     

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    Posted
  • Location: Eastbourne, East Sussex (work in Mid Sussex)
  • Location: Eastbourne, East Sussex (work in Mid Sussex)

    WA struggles to shake off cyclone effects

     

    As the clean-up after Tropical Cyclone Christine begins in parts of Western Australia, other parts of the state come under threat from the weakening storm. The clean-up after ex-Tropical Cyclone Christine has started in parts of Western Australia, but the worst may be yet to come in other parts. Fresh flood warnings have been issued by the Bureau of Meteorology for two rivers in Pilbara and a flood watch alert for the Goldfields area. The forecaster also issued a severe weather warning for a large part of the state's southeast on Wednesday.

     
    Flash floods and winds of up to 100km/h are expected as the storm moves southeast across the state. Farmers and others living in the Goldfields have been warned to prepare for flooding after up to 100mm of rain fell in the 24 hours to 9am (WST) on Wednesday. The Department of Fire and Emergency Services says people living in an area bordered by Eucla, Balgair, Leinster, Wiluna, Carnegie and Giles should prepare for dangerous conditions throughout the day. The clean-up has begun in areas close to the point Christine made landfall in the state's northwest at midnight on Monday. Roebourne councillor Robin Vandenberg said locals were used to cyclones and knew how to get back up and running quickly. "We got the power back around 5.30pm yesterday afternoon," he told AAP on Wednesday. "Driving around last night the areas around here all seemed to be back on."It's a beautiful day here today, everything is getting back to normal."
     
    Christine made landfall between Whim Creek and Roebourne as a category-three cyclone, but the system was weakening as it tracked southeast into the Gascoyne region. The cyclone was downgraded on Tuesday to a category one system as it swept inland through WA, leaving behind largely superficial damage to trees, fences and roofs. Horizon Power expects to have most areas without electricity back up and running on Wednesday. Power in Roebourne will be supplied by mining firm Rio Tinto's equipment while the line to the town in repaired. Christine is set to move across the Nullabor into northern SA on Thursday morning, bringing gale force winds and high temperatures, but no rain.
     
    Winds of up to 55km/h are forecast and while they are not expected to do major damage, dust storms will hit some areas. Port Hedland Mayor Kelly Howlett said the clean-up operation there would take about a month. There is no serious damage but there is a lot of sand on the streets and trees knocked down. She praised the mateship of local people, including one group who gathered at a nursing home to help clean up its grounds. "We are fortunate, but while there is no major damage it will take a while to clean it all up," she told AAP. "The residents have been really good at getting out and helping each other."
     
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