Severe Weather Update: tropical low intensifies north of Northern Territory, 8 January 2020

Severe Weather Update: tropical low intensifies north of Northern Territory, 8 January 2020

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Hello again. Darwin is now under cyclone watch as a tropical
low intensifies to the north of the Top End. Conditions are increasingly favourable for
a cyclone development, and we expect to name tropical cyclone Claudia overnight tonight. Right now, the tropical low is tracking west
in the Arafura Sea, to the north of the Top End coast. And a cyclone warning is current between Elcho
Island and Cape Don. As the system brushes past to the north we
may see gales along the coast develop within the warning zone as early as Thursday morning. Along with the winds comes the danger of storm
tides, with damaging waves and dangerous flooding, along the north coast during Thursday and
Friday as the cyclone approaches. If it reaches the forecast category 2 intensity,
then destructive wind gusts greater than 130 km/h may develop later on Thursday between
Maningrida and Goulburn Island. At this stage, landfall looks most likely
near Goulburn Island early on Friday morning, although there’s still a range of tracks possible
for the system in the grey shaded area here, and if the system moves a little more westerly
then it could spend even more time over water and potentially becoming an even stronger
system. Further to the west, the cyclone watch zone
extends across the northwest Top End to Dundee Beach, and includes Darwin, Batchelor, Jabiru,
the Tiwi Islands. The most likely scenario sees the system cross
the Cobourg Peninsula, and pass close to Darwin on Saturday morning, making for a wet and
windy weekend. Darwin and the Tiwi Islands could see gales
as early as Friday so long as the system stays at cyclone strength. Most of the Top End should see over 100mm
of rain across the weekend, with higher totals closer to the coast and the Tiwi Islands,
especially near the path of the system. But apart from localised flooding, such a
dry start to the wet season so far and the quick speed of movement of this weather system
means that we’re not expecting the extreme river rises across the Top End. So now’s the time to activate your cyclone
plans and finalise your preparations. Stay tuned to cyclone warning updates on the
Bureau’s website, app and social media, and please follow all advice from emergency services.

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