Laurence still causing warnings and watches in northern west Australia

December 17, 2009
The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) instrument on NASA's Terra satellite captured an image of Cyclone Laurence over Northern West Australia on Dec. 17 at 2:00 UTC (9 p.m. ET Dec. 16) as it continued to hug the coast and track west. Credit: NASA MODIS Rapid Response Team

Although the center of Tropical Cyclone Laurence has been over land for two days, it's still holding together and bringing heavy rains and gusty winds to the northern coastal areas of West Australia and will do so into the weekend. Warnings and watches are still in effect in some areas as Laurence will continue moving west before re-entering the Southern Indian Ocean.

The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) instrument on NASA's Terra satellite captured an image of Cyclone Laurence over Northern West Australia on Dec. 17 at 02:00 UTC (9 p.m. ET Dec. 16) as it continued to hug the coast and track west. The MODIS image did not reveal an eye, indicating that the storm has downgraded to a tropical storm.

On December 17 at 8 p.m. local time (Perth/) or 7 a.m. ET, a Cyclone Warning was in effect for areas in the Derby region of the west Kimberley. A Cyclone Watch was in effect for coastal areas from Cape Leveque to Wallal, including Broome as the storm continues to move in that direction. The area where Laurence is tracking is sparsely populated. The main industries there are energy-related and mining.

Laurence's were down to 40 mph (35 knots) making Laurence a tropical storm. Tropical Cyclone Laurence has continued to weaken as it moves slowly over land east of Derby. Wind gusts up to 59 mph (95 kilometers per hour) are possible close to the cyclone center.

Even though Laurence has weakened, he's still dumping heavy amounts of . Twenty-four hour rain totals are estimated to be as much as 11.8 inches (300 millimeters) along Laurence's track. Heavy rain is expected to continue over northwest Kimberley. Rainfall totals in excess of 4 inches (100mm) each day are expected with isolated amounts as high as 11.8 inches (300mm) possible near the path of the cyclone. Flooding is a large threat, especially for areas near the center of the storm.

At 8:00 p.m. local time (7 a.m. ET) December 17, the center of Tropical Cyclone Laurence was about 59 miles (95 kilometers) east of Derby, near 17.4 degrees South and 124.5 degrees East, and moving south at 7 mph (6 kilometers per hour). Estimated minimum central pressure is 993 millibars.

Over the next several days, Laurence will pass northeast of Fitzroy Crossing on its inland course. Then it will swing west, passing south of Derby and Beagle Bay before exiting near Broome and re-emerging over open ocean on December 19.

Laurence may re-develop into a tropical cyclone over warm ocean waters of the Southern Indian Ocean this weekend. There is low wind shear in that area, and that also enhances the chances of re-formation at sea.

Explore further: Terra satellite spots Tropical Cyclone Anja, the first of the southern season

Related Stories

Cyclone Anja hits wind shear, weakens drastically

November 17, 2009

This morning, Cyclone Anja was a powerful Category 4 cyclone on the Saffir-Simpson scale. Wind shear has now giving Anja a strong "punch in the gut" as the storm has weakened to a Category 1 cyclone.

Tropical Storm Laurence set for second Australian landfall

December 14, 2009

Tropical Storm Laurence tracked through Darwin Australia this weekend before sliding back into the Timor Sea and now Laurence is forecast to make a second landfall in Australia. Laurence is forecast to make landfall north ...

Laurence made landfall in Western Australia

December 15, 2009

Tropical Cyclone Laurence made landfall in Northwestern Australia this morning (Eastern Time) December 15, 2009. NASA's Aqua satellite captured a visible image of Laurence just before the center of the storm made landfall ...

Tropical Cyclone Laurence menaces Northern Australia

December 16, 2009

Laurence is still a tropical cyclone even though the storm has made landfall in northern West Australia and is moving over land. The Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) satellite noticed some powerful and high thunderstorms ...

Recommended for you

Global index proposed to avoid delays on climate policies

August 4, 2015

Professor David Frame, Director of Victoria's Climate Change Research Institute (CCRI), has co-authored a paper published today in the high profile international scientific journal Nature Climate Change. The paper argues ...

Study calculates the speed of ice formation

August 3, 2015

Researchers at Princeton University have for the first time directly calculated the rate at which water crystallizes into ice in a realistic computer model of water molecules. The simulations, which were carried out on supercomputers, ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.