Tropical Cyclone Tim to Turn Toward Australia

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Tropical Cyclone Tim, as seen by satellite as of 0530 UTC Friday, March 15, 2013. Location was over the Coral Sea; Queensland to the west, Papua-New Guinea to the north. (Image credit: Joint Typhoon Warning Center.)

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Tropical Cyclone Tim strengthened slightly on Thursday over the open waters of the Coral Sea, east of Australia. Since then, Tim has begun to weaken as it interacts with less favorable upper-level conditions.

Tim has been tracking east-southeast for several days, passing just north of Willis Island Wednesday into Thursday. During this time, the storm brought more than 6 inches of rainfall to the island along with sustained winds near 40 mph.

Current thinking is that Tim will track more to the southeast through Saturday before looping back to the west. This track will take the storm closer to Australia during the early to middle part of next week. However, this track will keep Tim in an area unfavorable for any strengthening and will likely weaken the storm to the point that it may lose its tropical characteristics.

NASA's Aqua satellite captured a visible image of newborn Tropical Cyclone Tim in the Coral Sea on March 14, 2013 at 04:05 UTC (12:05 a.m. EDT). Note the large band of thunderstorms wrapping into the center from the south and east. (Image credit: NASA Goddard MODIS Rapid Response Team)

Regardless, the central and southern coastline of Queensland could be impacted by rainfall from Tim by as early as Monday. While odds of a landfall appear low, the storm could still track close enough to the coast that flooding rainfall may occur.

Areas from Townsville south to Brisbane should closely monitor this tropical cyclone in the coming days for possible impacts next week.

This region was already hit hard by flooding earlier this month when a strong low pressure system brought more than a foot of rain over a two- to three-day period. All rights reserved. More from

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