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Weather bureau tracking tropical low with potential for cyclone to hit Kimberley coast next week

Sam JonesBroome Advertiser
According to the Bureau, a tropical low is likely to develop within the trough near the Joseph Bonaparte Gulf west of Darwin.
Camera IconAccording to the Bureau, a tropical low is likely to develop within the trough near the Joseph Bonaparte Gulf west of Darwin. Credit: Supplied/Bureau of Meteorology

The Bureau of Meteorology is warning residents in WA’s north to prepare for a potential tropical cyclone next week, with a monsoonal trough developing off the Northern Territory coast.

According to the Bureau, a tropical low is likely to develop within the trough near the Joseph Bonaparte Gulf west of Darwin.

While still too early to call whether a cyclone will form, if the low remains over water, conditions are favourable for the development of a tropical cyclone from the weekend.

The tropical low is likely to be slow-moving but with high uncertainty on its direction in the longer term, possibly moving over the NT or moving to the west-southwest over WA.

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It comes as a separate tropical low could develop within the monsoon trough over the Gulf of Carpentaria this weekend, with a low likelihood of developing into a tropical cyclone over far north Queensland and the Northern Territory.

It’s been a relatively dry start to the Kimberley wet season so far, with just 0.8mm of rain recorded in Broome since December 1, 2023 — far below the average December total of 63mm.

Slightly west of Broome, Derby also recorded 0mm over the same period, although the Derby Airport station recorded 26.6mm through December.

Fitzroy Crossing recorded 80mm from December 1, 57.2mm of which came in December — less than half the average December downpour of 131.6mm.

The figures are in stark contrast to the same period last year when, in January, Fitzroy Crossing was flooded by a once-in-a-century weather event, bringing 377.4mm to the remote town from December 1 to January 9.

In the East Kimberley, Kununurra also had a relatively slow start to rains with just 78mm falling in December, again almost half the average December figure of 141.9mm.

However, the new year seems to have brought the rains for the East Kimberley, with Kununurra copping a healthy 84.6mm so far in 2024.

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