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Another extreme Australian hurricane

By: Dr. Jeff Masters, 4:45 PM GMT on April 23, 2006

Australia's hurricane season continues its parade of unusually intense storms this year with the intensification of Cyclone Monica today into a huge Category 5 storm. The 12 GMT advisory this morning from the Joint Typhoon Warning Center put Monica at 165 mph sustained winds and a 892 mb pressure, making it second most intense hurricane ever recorded in the Southern Hemisphere. The most intense Southern Hemisphere cyclone on record was Cyclone Zoe of 2003, which had a 879 mb pressure. The Australian Bureau of Meteorology puts Monica's pressure at 905 mb, which would make it the fifth strongest cyclone on record. Reliable records of cyclone intensity only go back to the mid-1980s in the Southern Hemisphere, but two of top five strongest hurricanes ever recorded there have occurred this year--Tropical Cyclone Glenda (898 mb) from March, and now Monica. What's really extraordinary about Monica is that she came so late in the season--tropical cyclone season is usually over by late April in the Southern Hemisphere. Monica's formation echoes what happened in the Atlantic last year, with the intensification of Hurricane Wilma to a record 882 mb pressure very late in the hurricane season--October 19. When one adds in the $1 billion in devastation wrought in Queensland by Category 4 Cyclone Larry (915 mb) in March, Australians must feel like residents of hurricane alley in the Atlantic did last year, when three of the six strongest hurricanes on record occurred, causing the most damage ever--what's going on with the weather? However, be reminded that the Northern Hemisphere Pacific Ocean had a very below-normal tropical cyclone season last year, and the Indian Ocean also had below normal activity.

Figure 1. Visible satellite image of Cyclone Monica at peak intensity, 165 mph sustained winds and a 892 mb central pressure. Image taken at 7:30 GMT April 23, 2006 by the GMS satellite. Image courtest of the Navy Research Lab

Monica is expected to track just offshore the sparsely populated north coast of Australia today as it moves slowly westward. Darwin, the most heavily populated city in the region, will begin to feel Monica's wind later today, and a direct hit is possible on Tuesday. Monica should slowly weaken before she gets to Darwin, since much of the circulation will be over land, and the eye will have to cross land as well. Still, Monica could still be a formidable Category 3 or 4 hurricane by then, and a direct hit on Darwin would likely cause severe damage.

Jeff Masters

The views of the author are his/her own and do not necessarily represent the position of The Weather Company or its parent, IBM.

Reader Comments

Thank you for the post Dr. Masters. I just can't believe what Monica did last night! It is just like the awe I felt when Wilma bombed!
Yes, but what is Monica doing to the land? I noticed the WU Cape Wessel site went down when winds hit 77 mph sustained. That was sometime early morning 3:00AM? or so. Strange, but the WU five day forecast for Cape Wessel never predicted winds above 30mph. What's that about? As of noon eastern time there was nothing about Monica on the major networks. Hope storm coverage doesn't get as lax here in US when the season arrives.
Wow... look at that perfect donut at the core of the storm. This southern hemisphere season has been incredible, no doubt about it.
If there is a meteorologist on this blog, would you please comment on the relative accuracy of satellite-derived intensity estimates? NRL reports 892 mb, Australian Bureau of Meteorlogy reports 905 and the University of Wisconsin reports 877 ("point zero"). What's the official pressure, if there is one?

Since we're talking about a record-setting storm, this question not insignificant.

I assume there are different algorithms (e.g. AODT) that estimate upper-level wind speeds from satellite data and predict pressure based on this.

Of course, nothing beats a real barometric measurement, either dropsonde or a weather station. This brings up another question: don't the Aussies have hurricane-hunter aircraft, equipment and crews? If not, why don't we sell them some? This is a good project for U.S.-Aussie cooperation.
wow... a taste of things to come?

TGhe Sat derived pressure estimates are fairly accurate. We can only guess on an excact pressure, but you can be sure that this storm is anywhere from 880-900 mbs. The CIMSS adjustment for lattitude is +10mb, so thier actual pressure estimate is closer to 887mb. As far as official pressure, I think its the Navy estimate of 892.

And no one else across the world uses Hurricane Hunters. I guess they feel estimates are accurate enough to get a good forecast as well as intenity reading. They must think Hurricane Hunters arent worth the extra info the get.
Some parts of the Australian Northern Territory are pretty remote areas of the world as well. If a comparison were drawn to the US, it would probably be an area of Alaska. Not the same weather, but relevant to population density, industry, etc.
Navy estimate seems reasonable, depending on background pressures.
Monica's formation echoes what happened in the Atlantic last year

I wonder is there is any relationship here? Also, what could happen this year in the Atlantic; and I bet that this gives a lot of support to the articles that say that global warming is increasing the intensity of hurricanes.
Darwin is a city of 109,478 (est. June 2004) and capital of the Northern Territory. It's home to a large army base and has navy and air force bases. Downtown Darwin is shown below:

A direct hit from a cat 5 cyclone would take out more than just a few aborigines.
CI# /Pressure/ Vmax
8.0 / 868.6mb/170.0kt

The T8.0 measurement in the area is 858 mb but it is adjusted to 869 mb for latitude. Still, it is possibly a new WORLD RECORD!!!
Sure, if Monica takes the aim predicted, most of the structures in the photo will be gutted if not collapsed outright. Barrier islands and land spits which protected populated areas (a large reason why populations arise in such areas) historically pose little hindrance to these megastorms. Meteorologists should perhaps move their mindsets forward a little in this respect. How many times in the last five years have you seen a storm cross a landmass and emerge on the other side with nearly the same intensity, or recover that intensity in little time? How many times did that occur prior to the last five years? Hardly ever. Until about five years ago, I never saw a hurricane impact Florida or Cuba, and not break up. I've lived near the Florida coast 53 years.
This is one of the strongest storms the world has ever seen! It is in rank with the Atlantic storms of last year.
The intensity of this storm is conflicting.

The Australians are showing it at 905/165. The US Navy site is showing 892/165. The unofficial Dvorak estimates are showing 869/195.
I believe CIMSS is reporting:

T 8.0
Pressure 868.6 + 10.6 = 879.2 mb
Vmax 170.0 kt (195 mph)

The estimated pressure now equals that of Cyclone Zoe...and it's dropping.
Crazy, you forgot one. The official SSD Dvorak estimates have Monica at 180 M.P.H. (T7.5) Which estimate are they going to put down officially?
Snowski, you are doing the pressure wrong; the 10.6 mb is already added - T8.0 would normally be 858 mb, so adding 10.6 equals 868.6 mb (see here).
Super Typhoon Tip 2!
Tip was 20 times larger than Monica though...
Gasp...this is shocking!
T7.5 would equal to 890 mb if adjusted or 879 mb if unadjusted.
T8.0...Oh my God...
Yeah, this is really serious for Darwin. :( We've followed its progress at the Amateur Hurricane Center, and it really bombed, just like Wilma!
I think the estimate may be overdoing it a bit. I would say Rita at its peak was a stronger storm with an even better core structure.
Oh my gosh Navy has Monica at 155 knots!!!

JTWC graphic now shows 155kt/879mb!!!
879 mb Zoe's record!!!
"I think the estimate may be overdoing it a bit. I would say Rita at its peak was a stronger storm with an even better core structure."

*points up*
Colby this is world records here!!! We are living history for sure!
I am now officially terrified. I'd say all bets are off for our season now.
Me too! I am scared the world's weather extremes are officialy through the roof now!
I wonder what is going to happen when everybody who says that global warming is making storms more intense hear about this?
They will rant and rage and stomp around lol.
Clearly, something has fundamentally shifted in our climate. Such absurdity does not occur on its own - even with perfect conditions a storm like this is (used to be) a once in a century event.
I said last year

"All Records associated with (at least) Tropical Systems should be recorded as separete entities - Pre-2005 and Post 2004"

This proves that mooore
Heh. And a very correct statement it was - I fear for everyone on the coasts of tropical oceans.
My goodness this is amazing. The frequency which we are seeing these INCREDIBLE storms is a bit scary. I hope in the next few years more research money will be dedicated from the governments to explore these types of storms and meteorology/climate change in general. Amazing.

the Aussies and the rest of the world use 10 min wind avg, we use 1 min avg. Our est. is probably a little low if it matches their est. IMHO
hurricanemike: I agree. An advisory from the Australian government had Monica at 876 mb.
"I think the estimate may be overdoing it a bit. I would say Rita at its peak was a stronger storm with an even better core structure."

*points up*

Rita was also at 155 kts at its peak. Also, keep in mind Monica would not be at 879 mb if it was sitting in the Atlantic. There is a reason why it is extremely difficult for an Atlantic storm to dip below 890 mb and it took two freak pinhole eye storms to do it. Rita's peak eye/eyewall structure was as perfect as you'll ever see in a storm in a storm without a pinhole eye and it still only managed 895 mb.

Monica is still a stunning storm regardless of its exact rank. It's a shame we can't get more direct measurements from monsters outside of the Atlantic basin.

Someone taking advantage of Monica.
Remember that Wilma had a pressure of 882 mb, which would be equivalent to 830-840 mb in other areas (this chart shows that 890 mb in the Atlantic is equal to 858 mb in the West Pacific).
This looks much better than Rita ever did, IMO. There's no way it could look any better on sat.
Not sure how you're calculating 830-840 from that. If 890=858, how does 882=840? It's not 18 WPAC millibars to 8 atlantic.

Regardless, Monica is a truly incredible storm.
"Remember that Wilma had a pressure of 882 mb, which would be equivalent to 830-840 mb"

So, deep inside those most knowledgeable, we can presume that Wilma did a better job at achieving a lower possible pressure than Tip and Monica?
I didn't calculate; I just guessed, as the scale only goes up to 890/858. Anyway, it shows that storms in the Atlantic seem to be more powerful than in other parts of the world (one even made landfall with 190 mph winds - Camille).
48. amd
This storm, although not the biggest, may be the strongest storm ever recorded.


That's from 11 am, I think, and the presentation is only getting better.

I thought the storm would weaken considerably as it hugs the coastline, but that is not happening at all.

Does anyone know the water temps near the coast line of northern australia?
868 woooooooooooooow
I pray for anyone in the path of this behemoth of a storm.
Dvorak estimates are overloaded:

8.0 is the highest that the T# can possibly get (unless they extend the scale in the future; T10.0?)
Y if our Beloved Godly Hurricane Wilma had been over there it would have been about a 840mb Storm
Another thing to consider is the fact that Monica is so close to land; in fact, about 1/3 of the CDO is over land:

what a perfect circle (for weather)
Ok some people on here are saying we Have a New Record for Pressure

although No one else on ANY other web site like East Coast Forum is saying anything at all
One good thing about Monica is that it is not Katrina or Rita size; the wind field is about 250 miles across and hurricane force winds extend 45 miles from the center, or half of Katrina's or Rita's (Katrina had hurricane force winds extending 125 miles).
what a monster - I just pray that all in its path are well prepared and safe..
Does anyone know the water temps near the coast line of northern australia?

I've seen some tracks of Monica with regional SSTs, and the water is very warm indeed, between 29 and 30.
Dvorak estimates are 8.0 across the board and I bet that they would be much higher if they could get any higher:

Current Intensity Analysis

AODT - Version 6.4.2
Tropical Cyclone Intensity Algorithm

----- Current Analysis -----
Date : 23 APR 2006 Time : 193300 UTC
Lat : 11:18:54 S Lon : 135:33:00 E

CI# /Pressure/ Vmax
8.0 / 868.6mb/170.0kt

Latitude bias adjustment to MSLP : +10.6mb

Estimated radius of max. wind based on IR : 22.1km

6hr-Avg T# 3hr-Avg T# Adj T# Raw T#
8.0 8.0 8.0 8.0
although No one else on ANY other web site like East Coast Forum is saying anything at all

I second this. I've not seen anything indicating a new number one. I think I would have seen it somewhere by now, too.
This is the wind field, as estimated by IR:

Also of note is that the water is even warmer and the shear even lower as Monica approaches Darwin.

And holy crap @ the windfield...that looks like some sort of diffusion pattern. Perfect symmetry.
After Emily,Katrina,Rita,Wilma,Carina and Glenda,Monica is the 7th category 5 cyclone in just 10 months.
Absolutly incredibile and I think that this is a record for Earth.
From Colby's response I'm guessing windfields aren't usually that staggeringly round and symmetrical.
thanks MichaelSTL for that amazing image - note that we're right off the scale..
I really wish that they had "Hurricane Hunters" in other basins.
Darwin is going by by with this hurricane
and if the Hurricane Hunters where to fly in there we would say by by to them as well what gos in dos not come out when a hurricane is like this
On record, Typhoon Tip (1979) largest stormswas the with gale force winds (39 mph) that extended out for 675 miles (1087 km) in radius in the Northwest Pacific on 12 October, 1979. The smallest storm was Tropical Cyclone Tracy with gale force winds that only extended 30 miles (48 km) radius when it struck Darwin, Australia, on December 24, 1974.

Darwin was largely destroyed on 25 December 1974 by Cyclone Tracy, which killed 50 people and destroyed over 70% of the town's buildings, including many old stone buildings such as the Palmerston Town Hall, which could not withstand the lateral forces generated by the strong winds. After the disaster, an airlift evacuated 30,000 people. The town was subsequently rebuilt with newer materials and techniques during the late 1970s by the Darwin Reconstruction Commission.

Monica appears on course to strike Darwin, with gale force winds extending 100 nm from the center, more than three times larger than Tracy.
JTWC has not updated their warnings or maps yet; they still say 145 kts.
MichaelSTL well 145kt is not right lol
Great graph snowski, except for the wind radii of the two storms. According to your figures, I think you could put 9 Tracies inside Monica,
not 3. Correct me if I'm wrong.
JTWC only does 12 hr updates in the S.H., at 00,12Z, so they obviously aren't going to be updated!
You could fit 9 Tracies in Monica, but Monica is three times wider than Tracy. Gogo pi*r
if this monster hits Darwin right on, then they'll be wishing for good old Tracy (regardless of whatever new construction materials/methods were employed in the rebuilding)..
Katrina and Rita were twice as wide; Wilma was four times wider at one point.
Floater Sat Loop

Check out that link...great sat loop of Monica!
Does anyone know the water temps near the coast line of northern australia?

The surface water is pretty warm, which makes sense considering it is only 11 degrees from the equator. However, the total heat content of the water is actually pretty low compared to the gulf loop current, northwest Caribbean, and large areas of the northwest Pacific in late August.

oh my gold from 868.8 now 868.5md
O_O How strong would Monica be now if it had formed near 170 - 180 E?!
MichaelSTL and look at my 234 post the mb keep on falling
why is everyone so happy to be first who cares its stupid to read the first post and in it first :S

the best for the australian people
In other news buoy (42001) shows water temp south of New Orleans at 85 degrees. Loop current looks to be building strong folks.

That's the same kind of water Monica is in! :O
WWPS20 KNES 232120
APRIL 23 2006 2033Z
11.4S 135.5E T7.5/7.5/D1.0/24HRS MONICA (23P)
PAST POSITIONS....11.3S 137.2E 23/0733Z IRNIGHT
11.6S 138.2E 22/2033Z VIS/IRDAY
"why is everyone so happy to be first who cares its stupid to read the first post and in it first :S"

That's why everybody knows that the one who is the first to add substancial content is the real first poster. :D
Colby what is that Satellite Bulletin where did you get it?
Off the SSD (that's satellite services division) website.
It seems that the relatively small windfield of Monica will help maintain intensity of the cyclone by minimizing friction with land:

and this theory is consistent with the latest forecast by JTWC:

231500Z POSITION NEAR 11.3S 136.4E.
240300Z AND 241500Z.//
For the uninitiated, Maximum Significant Wave Height is the average of the top third of the waves.
That's a great animation, snowski. It's amazing to see how Monica bombed and the winds increased from ~114 to ~145 knots!
Here's a wave graphic... 40' & most likely + since the scale is maxxed out.
*feels the need to roll his eyes*

Remember the Christy fellow who copy+pasted my seasonal forecast a month or so ago? Take a look at his posts here. Look familiar?
Here's just a general question for anybody who knows:

Why are hurricanes able to form so much closer to the equator in this area than in the Atlantic? I remember hearing somewhere that hurricanes don't form too close to the equator around here because they can't get enough spin, which should also apply to the Southern Hemisphere. Is there another reason why they won't form so close to the equator in the Northern Hemisphere but they can in the Southern?
That's sad~ got MichaelSTL's IR word for word too. As for the webcam in Darwin, found that earlier, seems like it has been stuck the last few hours. oops went for link ~ it's down as well as the others in N AU.
97. Ezzz
Monica's winds are at 350kmh, which is 210mph for you Imperial Americans.

http://www.bom.gov.au/products/IDD65011.shtml (Monica's Track and Threat Map)

http://www.bom.gov.au/products/IDD65811.shtml (Monica's Forecast Map)

http://www.bom.gov.au/cgi-bin/wrap_fwo.pl?IDDP0002.txt (Monica's Tropical Cyclone Advice)

http://mirror.bom.gov.au/products/IDR632.loop.shtml (Darwin's 256km Radar Loop)

(Gove's 256km Radar Loop)

(The Australian Bureau of Meteorology Home Page)
Thought that was pretty neat myself Colby. Thanks
McFatty, this storm is fairly close to the equator, but storms in the Atlantic have formed as close or closer. The main reason there is very strong background vorticity, that is, the air patterns there are naturally just a bit cyclonic.
Monica's sat appearance is decaying now, in the late Australian morning. This is probably just a diurnal minimum, and it's conceiveable she could pick up where she left off in about 18 hours.
210mph is just insane.
Hurricanes form over tropical waters (between 8 and 20 latitude) in areas of high humidity, light winds, and warm sea surface temperatures (typically 26.5C [80F] or greater).

Monica is within this latitude
So much of the wind field has been over land, it appears the storm would have ragged out at least a little before now.
its ok colby i wouldnt go in there you will get banned on the spot lol

credit nasa

this map might need updating
it is because it is a tropical cyclone so it doesnt just realie on the spin,that is what is needed at first but they form from the warm waters which supply intense convetion which lowers the pressure and intensifies the winds and circulation.Ulike a mid lattitude storm that realies on jet stream energy which cant generate any where close to the energy warm waters can,also mid lattitude sytems are like deserts in most cases compared to tropical cyclones.
I already AM banned, that's why the link is through proxify.

And ROFL Skyepony, things have indeed changed.
So mid lattitude sytems relie on the "spin" alot more than tropical cyclones,tropical cyclones only need to when they first form once it starts it doesnt need it anymore
I've been at a seminar all day and just jumped on to catch up with everything. And I've got one of those "off the wall" questions about Monica. MichaelSTL posted a picture of the windfield earlier today and snowski posted a link to her a little while ago. Something popped into my head that I can't seem to shake. The windfield and the sat pictures are so "perfect" it almost looks like it's man-made. I know its sounds nutty...but does anyone think that could even be remotely possible? I thought I read somehwere that technology exists that could create weather.
Scotth...they will guffaw you off this site if you go there, but you're freakin' right!!
imperial americans?I suggest you get your stuck up anti american crap outta here and trust in God.
Scott, no man-made power is currently capable of doing much more than attempting to work a butterfly effect - that is, make a tiny change that creates big differences down the road. The idea behind hurricane cloud seeding, for example, is to cause an ERC.
Heh. According to his blog, he's from Mobile anyway ;)
I was afraid of that franck. But the thought just popped into my head and I couldn't resist. Kind of like a mosquito and a bug light. All the other mosquitos tell him not to go in there...but he just can't help it. Maybe I'll try apologizing for that question in advance of the onslaught.
116. mobal
All, my response was to Ezzz, read down some.
Colby - Have you ever seen a windfield so symmetric before. Not that this is a good thing at all but the symmetry is actually beautiful.
Jedkins, the Imperial System is inches, feet, miles, etc. As opposed to the Metric System. Don't go causing any international incidents now.
119. mobal
That may be my miss interpretation, I am sorry if I offended anyone, was not the goal.
man, it should have said stupid Americans. I'm ashamed to be in the same country as some of you. He was referring to Imperial measurements which we use in the US, like miles as opposed to metric measurements. I know our education system isn't always the greatest, but really has it gotten that bad?
mobal..don't apologize..they know they are imperial...ists!!
Hey guys,

All I can say is wow. I am so speechless. The storm looks absolutely perfect. There is nothing to fault on the satellite. She has been holding at T 8.0 for hours now (8.0 is the highest the scale will go LOL!!!). This storm beats any other in intensity and and satellite appearance. It is quite scary.
Hey, I was just wondering, would a cyclone like Monica over a major city, like, maybe Miami, cause any damage to, say, shrubbery and garden sheds? Does anyone know?
Hey, I was just wondering, would a cyclone like Monica over a major city, like, maybe Miami, cause any damage to, say, shrubbery and garden sheds? Does anyone know?

Are you kidding? It would wipe out everything and leave behind damage that would resemble that from a massive F4-F5 tornado.
A storm this powerful will render areas uninhabitable. Everyhting will be destroyed, including crops and small bushes. There will be nothing left.
Not if the frame of the sheds were set on 16" centers instead of 24", and constructed with underwriter approved roof brackets.
Hoever, some minor deleafing of shrubs could be expected.
127. mobal
Hey, I was just wondering, would a cyclone like Monica over a major city, like, maybe Miami, cause any damage to, say, shrubbery and garden sheds? Does anyone know?

You would not see you small plants, sheds etc again
128. mobal
Franck, lol. Whos code is that?
Ummm... According to this, Monica is like a F5 tornado that is about 50 miles wide; F5 tornadoes destroy everything, except maybe undeground bomb shelters. Note in my link that the EF scale reduces wind speeds for F5 tornadoes to 200 mph or higher gusts and CIMSS indicates 195 mph sustained winds.
Hello, kiddies.

Been "Watching Monica" alllll weekend. Had a feeling about this evening (that I'd be watching history...again).
Yeah squeak, we are watching one of the top 5 strongest cyclones of all time.
Somebody's playing with you guys.
that's why the link is through proxify

what is proxify
Yeah the core has been consolidating a little today. The SSMIS just out on the NRL web site a little while ago showing the very symmetric strong core.

I'll pass on a comment from Steve G (I don't think he'll mind):

"...the subsidence looks as impressive on the water vapor imagery as Rita - when it bombed...was kind of hoping it would stay west, enter the Indian Ocean and then tear up THEIR oil rights. After all, we might as well have a good excuse for the $3.50 I paid today for gasoline..."

always makin' me smile.
I wonder if the 869 mb estimate is indeed correct, since that site has been holding at it for at least 8 hours?
I bet that if the Dvorak scale went up to 10.0, Monica would probably be at 9.0 or something, based on how it intensified during the last two periods, as you can see in this graph:

T9.0 = about 210 mph and about 855 mb...
My pressure guess right now would be 876 mb. However, I have no doubt that between 1930 UTC and 2230 UTC, she had a pressure of 870 mb or below. So, that estimate was probably accurate at some time during the last 8 hours or so, but I think she has got a little more ragged now.
Guys - that is a purely algorithmic estimate, it is NOT that strong. The official estimates are T7.5/150kt right now.
LOL Michael. I wouldn't go that far! With winds of 205+ we are talking about physical impossibilities. Winds cannot rotate around an eye that size that quickly. However, I do believe 8.0 is about right for the last 8 hours.
Notice how Monica went from 6.0 to 7.0 then leveled off in intensity for 18 hours or so, then intensified again from 7.0 to 7.8; the current cycle has continued for longer than the past two - notice that the Adjusted T# (green line) is still at 8.0; in the past two periods, it dropped after 6 hours to below the current intensity number (blue line) and that hasn't happened yet.
New estimate is out, still 8.0 on all values. However, the eye temperature has cooled significantly and the average cloud tops have warmed slightly. She may be just losing a little of her incredible strength, but she is still between 150-155 kts I think.
They physically can't atmosweather?...or have they just never before?

Blame the leader of the western world for the price of gasoline. He has said several times before the world media that he could not do anything about the price of gasoline. Think futures speculators might have heard him?
If you look at the history, it shows the eye cooling for one estimate, and then it warms again, to higher than the previous estimate (before the cooling).
It was at about 908 then. Now it is (supposedly) at 869.
What time are you referring to? I am talking about the estimate made at 2133 today, during the period with T8.0.
Actually, it may be doing this because the diurnal minimum was a couple of hours ago.
Proxify is an anonymous surfing service.

I'd say she's more like 900 now, rather asymmetric. Still extremely powerful though, and she might have bested Tip earlier.
Let's all hope she is weakening a bit. I dread to see what the island chain looks like tomorrow, there will be no damage to survey. When your talking 180+ mph (to put it in perspective)That would probably level any American city in the Hurricane belt.
Yeah Colby, I believe she passed Tip at around 2000 UTC. Now I think she is 885 mb and 150 kts. However, she is moving into an area of even lower shear and even warmer water, so while the ewnvironment stays this perfect and she stays away from the coast, she still has time to strengthen especially tomorrow morning with the diurnal maxiumum approaching.
JTWC still says 155 kts/879 mb, which means that Monica has held this for 12 hours now.

Link to best track file
Those are Navy estimates, Michael. The next JTWC update is due in the next 30 mins.
(Side Note)How is your brother doing Atmos?
Thank you for being so caring to ask, Progressive. He is doing fine, and we are all feeling a lot better. Getting used to the routine and importance of monitoring eating and drinking has been tough but we have finally accepted what he has to do.
Good to hear!
A couple of observations...

1. I don't think Monica ever passed Tip.

2. The shear/outflow environment is already as good as it will get and the water does not get warmer from here.

3. The eye will be near if not on the coast when we wake up in the morning. The storm peaked earlier today.
210mph not some one give me some in vary cold to wake me up 210mph winds like some ice to hit me with lol so how strong can they ley a hurrricane get 210mph that could not be right or is it some one wake me up lol
Australia says that the pressure is now 915 mb, but the gusts are still 220 mph (350 km/h); this would suggest a sustained wind of 180 mph (as a comparison, Katrina, Rita, and Wilma all (operationally) had 175 mph sustained winds and 215 mph gusts).
Looks like the eye is clouding up, deffinatly weakening a bit.
The pressure has been 915 for the last 3 updates according to the Aussies, and the winds have been 350 km/h.
No Cyclone can have 220mph gusts and not be 890ish
Appears to me that an ERC is starting. A strong outer is beginning to wrap around the eye, the eye is beginning to cloud up, and Sat appearance is deteriorating. She is no longer a perfect circle like she was 6 hours ago, and strong convection looks to be at secondary wind maximum outside the eye wall.

Looking at the WV loop and it appears that just after what I would call 2 explosions of t storms, or clouds for that matter to the North East of Monica, her eye started to cloud up and appearance become a little ragged.

It actually completely depends on the pressure enviornment around the storm. If there is very, very high pressure around the storm, it doesn't need to attain as low a pressure to create as high of winds. So it's very possible for a storm to be 910mb with and 220mph gusts, expecially since the Aussies use +40% for winds gusts, so you only need 160 mph storm to get 220mph gusts. For an example Andrew was 921mb and had winds of 160mph.
You are probably right, Myles. Unfortunately, it is occurring at the diurnal minimum and will have a little time after this one ends to restrengthen.
I should add that while I think the storm may have peaked earlier, it sure hasn't lost much. The CDO donut has remained remarkably strong and circular considering the amount of air it is now pulling in from the landmass.
An ERC right now is unfortunet for us. But this is a blessing for people in the path of that beast.
I became interested in hurricanes last year after Hurricane Dennis, and started coming to this site religously. I can definately say it is pretty neat to repeatedly witness history in the making. This looks to be happening again with Monica. Is any one else extremely annoyed by the poor hurricane information in other tropical basins?
However, Myles, the inner eyewall is still remarkably strong and symmetrical, so the EWRC can't start until either it breaks down or the eye shrinks.
Latest news article (15 min ago) on Monica. & 18 mins ago. From the latter~

The likely effects would be an awful lot of tree damage obviously, structures that aren't cyclone coated would be expected to suffer quite a lot. Structures that are cyclone coated would probably go a bit better, and everyone around here is taking it very seriously indeed.

I wonder what cyclone coating a structure intails..
Unfortunately, it is occurring at the diurnal minimum and will have a little time after this one ends to restrengthen

That means it is not the best time for the Aussies for it to have one. When the diurnal maximum comes up tomorrow morning it might have ended the EWRC and have a short time to reorganize.

The ERC can start before the inner eye wall breaks-down, the ERC starting is what will cause the eye to shrink or breakdown. Also, take a look at the expiramental MIMIC imagery loop" It shows the path of the storm very good and the eye has shrunk in the last hour or so.
Latest JTWC update is up. 155 kts and expected to make landfall within the next 12-24 hours as a Category 5.
Yes I understand Myles. I'm sorry that I didn't make myself clear. I meant to say that unless the inner eyewall breaks down then there is no EWRC that is currently going on.
**slaps himself**

Maybe I should watch the whole loop before I start spouting things about eye shrinking and what not. The eye did shrink slightly after the interactive with the islands, but after that it expanded right back to the same size it was before.
SYDNEY, Australia (AP) _ A severe tropical cyclone packing winds of up to 350 kph (217 mph) hovered off Australia's remote northern coast Monday, the weather bureau said. No damage or injuries were reported.

"I think we should be taking lessons from them"

I don't see an ERC starting. What the microwave image shows is a strong feeder band wrapping into the eyewall from the south and west.
That JTWC update would seem to put Darwin out of the extreme winds.
It's not doing an ERC, or at least not in the sense you're probably thinking. Monica is one of those exceedingly rare storms that can form an outer eyewall while sustaining her inner one, meaning that the strength can slowly shift outward rather than a sudden drop in winds as the inner eyewall collapses.
I agree Colby, her inner eyewall is too strong to break down right now. She is self-sustaining now, and only a once in a lifetime storm can do it at this intensity. She has been a Category 5 for 24 hours now.
Progressive..but it is tracking a little north of that route.
Usually ERCs start with tightly wrapped bands.

It's funny now to look back at Dennis:

"After strengthening at a rate that bordered on insane during the morning..."

Pfft. 4mb/hour? That's nothing.
Colby..did you just say the extreme wind field may be expanding?
If you wish, guys, I can prepare and relay the satellites onto a grid like I did with Wilma last year, so that I can update the heading every time I get a new image.
my friends NOTHING is a Once and a Lifetime Event Anymore
Looks like very few people live on the section of coast this thing will hit tomorrow. That location also happens to be halfway between and out of range of both the Darwin and Gove radars.
It should expand, yes. Generally concentric eyewalls will shift strength outward - she'll lose a bit on maximum winds but will spread out to compensate.

If anyone can write some sort of a script to create an updating animated image of Monica that would be great.
atmos...that would be great because the difference in Darwin getting wiped out and just scraped may be about a 10 mile variance.

Why do you say Monica can do that? We haven't seen it before in her lifetime. Is it because she appeared or still appears to be an annular hurricane?
Let's see if this works:

On the cimms you can see the stong feeder bands start to feed the eye, traditional of a weaker storm, and on the last frame the strong feeder bands are almost non-existant. POWER
Well, the eastern half of Darwin radar is already picking up a little wind and precip blowing offshore.
Myles, she is an annular hurricane.
: atmosweather mail for you and nop did not work
wow what will ares be like this year
She's losing the annularity (I think that's the adjective) as we speak.

The reason I say she can do that is that she already has. Two eyewalls are already visible on all but the microwave, which doesn't have a very good resolution. I would say that right now Monica's eyewall is splitting apart, with one eyewall slowly collapsing and the other expanding and merging with the band visible on the microwave image. That merger will create the new dominant eyewall, probably soon before landfall. This is just conjecture, though, since internal cycles are notoriously hard to forecast.
If the microwave is correct she could complete the "EWRC" before landfall, which would give her a small window of opportunity to intensify as the diurnal maximum approaches.
My feelings excactly Colby.
Atmos, use these tags, replacing [ with a lesser-than sign, and ] with a greater-than sign:

Simple Link -> [a href="URLHere"]Text for link[/a]

Image: [img src="imageURLhere"]

Image linking to page: [a href="PageURL"][img src="ImageURL"][/a]

Resizing image [img src="ImageURL" width="widthInPixels(600 is good)" height="heightInPixels(800 is good)"]
Look at this loop. She becomes ragged during the middle, and then her eye looks much better and clears out towards the end.
Thank you Hills, but I was trying to post it as an animation and it didn't work.
Agreed - she's coming out of the diurnal min. I am NOT going to bed...I want Tip's record smashed in the next 24 hours.
Do you think she has a chance? I believe she does but only if she can survive this blip.
That's a Java animation. An animated image can be posted the same way a standard one can, but the code for an applet isn't allowed in the comments.
Thanks, Colby. I do know how to post pictures but not animations or images that automatically update. Does anyone kmow how to do this?
So how many of the top 20 intense storms (worldwide) have occurred in the past year?
me to if not them some one kill me if the mb did get get lower then 870mb
Oh ok Colby, that explains why it didn't work. I don't know of any animations of Monica that are not Java.
4 of the top 20.
What four Atmos? I can only find two, Wilma and Monica.
I think the winds have come down in the last 2-3 hours - my guess is that they are around 145 knots (165 mph) now. The pressure doesn't seem to be affected as much by eyewall cycles; I'd say it is still well below 900 mb.
she might already have took the record from TipWikipedia~

Some estimated unofficial preliminary data suggested that this cyclone could have produced the lowest atmospheric pressure ever recorded in the world, with a reported minimum pressure of 869 mbar, surpassing Typhoon Tip's 870 mbar record. [2]

The top 20 most intense list is a bit subjective~ ranked by pressure, not winds~lack of good data from all basins, etc. Wilma would be the only to make it, 4 show in the top 40 or so, if only considering this last year to now.
Dr. Jeff,

Do you think the activity occuring in Australia will have any indication on the Atlantic Season this year?

Also, has anyone gone to the e-transit.org/hurricane site mentioned in April's report from Colorado State? I'm just wondering how accurate their regional predictions are. I found a way to manipulate the 11 regions and even put the statistics on a spreadsheet... it doesn't look good for the Gulf Coast.
That 869 is unofficial, but realistic...the official pressure low is 905, although it was likely much, much lower than that.
Usually the pressure is affected more than the winds, CrazyC83.

Myles, I actually was wrong and was unknowingly reading the top 40 list. You are right, only Wilma and Monica (if the estimates are correct), but Rita came very close.

Skyepony, all they are doing is taking the UW-CIMSS estimate which can be vey inaccurate. Someone is obviously getting over excited by that estimate and decided to put it on there. I don't believe she broke Tip's record, but she came pretty close.
Monica is ranked with 905mb, the highest "lowest estimate". When does that basin finalize & officalize their records?
Hmmm....I wonder whats up with the lag in new images on Monica. It's been over two hours since an update in VIS or IR has happened. It's frustrating not being able to see the changes going on. If the ERC is starting like some of us suspect then a lot could have happened since then.
thanks atmos, that is an absolutely wild statistic:
- 4 of the 20 top storms ever in the past year.
I wonder if there's a problem with the CIMSS computer program, and the computer just won't calculate any intensity higher than T 8.0, or 868 mb, or Vmax 170 kts?

Maybe the real numbers have dropped, but the AODT program is written in such a way that the computer just can't compute values higher than T 8.0 or their corresponding pressures or wind speeds.
BOM Seems to be hinting at a hit on Darwin as a Strong Cat3/Weak Cat4 after crossing the Coburg Penisula and 1/2 of it getting back into the water. The Hit on darwin is forecast at about Noon Darwin Local Time (UTC0030) Tomorrow.
It also appears that the Darwin TCWC runs a lot worse off then the Queenslands or Western Australian TCWC, because of the lack of updates when its not that far way from an area with a Greater population of 140,000. The Forecasts have being every 6hrs and Track Updating every 3hrs... When Glenda & Larry hit everything was updated every Hour as it neared close to habitation.

Yeah I am wondering why neither UW-CIMSS or Navy have updated their images and Dvoraks.
There is so much dispute with the pressure that the most prudent course of action is to go with the "official" numbers for the moment, although note should be made of the much lower estimates (one of them ties the Southern Hemisphere record, and the other is a new world record!)
Anyone dare to guess what the real intensity would be if they had sent a Hurricane Hunter into there?
That would be awful Boochan, and yes Darwin's center updates less often than some of the others for some reason (maybe because of the rarity of this situation ever popping up).

Snowski, if that was true then the program would have been broken 9 hours ago. I see what you are saying though.
I would guess the real peak intensity was 875 mb. I wish they would send planes into all storms or at least drop instruments into them. We really need some kind of international system that corresponds with the Atlantic system.
Actually Snowboy, it's only one officially(Wilma) if Monica is offically ranked as below 882mb then she will be in the top 20, too. Atmos was looking at the top 40.
I agree, especially for a developed country like Australia.

I think it would be a jaw-dropping 866 mb if they sent a Hurricane Hunter in there.
866!!! Lol that's a bold one!!! Although it could have been. The cloud pattern and eye was so spectacular that it was easily the more remarkable storm I have ever seen. No one will ever know, which is such a shame. I don't think Tip looked as good as she did.
In response to the satalite updates, do they not have blackouts just like we do? Aussie is on the other side of the world and at midnight and the hours preceding, satalites would not be able to reach the US, correct?
Here is an image of Typhoon Tip from NOAA:

She has a chance, if not much of one.

Screw staying up...I'm......tired..................zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
The blackouts are only from August to October.
Is that the same in Austraila Atmos?
LOL Colby. Have a great sleep :)
I believe so, Progressive
Are the blackouts related to the season in any way? Because if that were true, then the equivalent period for the Southern Hemisphere would be February to April.
Was just thinking Atmos. I remember that most eveything is exactly opposite in Australia.
Not Exactly, but you get the picture.
New estimate out: still 7.5:

24/0133 UTC 11.5S 134.9E T7.5/7.5 MONICA -- South Indian Ocean
Well it hasn't blacked out any other night so I wouldn't think there is one tonight.

Pretty accurate I would say, Michael.
Is it just my imagination or does monica seem to be getting larger?
Her windfield is expanding in response to the outer eyewall strengthening, yes.
Must be your imagination, because thier hasen't been a new image in 3 hours.
atmosweather mail for you
so did winds evere get to 195mph
apparently they did
The MODIS 250m image is available on NRL now.
Things don't seem too bad in Australia right now. The Cape Wessel weather station stopped transmitting last night when wind speeds reached 70 knots, but the other stations don't look too bad. Monica apparently has missed Milingimbi, which only had peak winds of 39 kts.

Maybe Darwin will luck out this time. Their webcam is showing nice weather.
Looks about the same as the last one. Eye is still clearing out and the outer eyewall is still pretty evident.
That's because the islands where she passed over can't transmit anything back except from Cape Wessel that was 80 miles north of landfall.
Cyclones & Hurricanes usually expand in size when they come down from the "Doughnut Hole" strength she was at. They lose thier self contained atmosphere and start to pull from other areas around the storm, Hence, expanding the storm.
Yeah, except she is still self-sustaining.
We will have to get the Best photos - IR Water Vapor Dvor. Sat. ALL of them when this is over

Dont see a new MODIS image, the latest image I can find is 139Z. Are looking at one after this time...anyone else?

Here is the latest Dvorak analysis:

WWPS20 KNES 240345
APRIL 24 2006 0133Z
11.5S 135.0E T7.5/7.5/S0.0/24HRS MONICA (23P)
PAST POSITION....11.3S 136.4E 23/1330Z IRNIGHT
11.5S 137.7E 23/0233Z VIS/IRDAY
Cory, I saved every image from every channel since 8pm last night. If you want one, you are more than welcome.
I found a chart of Australian SSTs.

The temperature under Monica is about 30 C.
Night all, hopefully we don't get to experience a storm such as this "at landfall". Love to stay up but work beckons tomorrow. I recommend staring at a stationary point every 10 minutes or so, it reduces the brains tendancy to see everything spinning clockwise or counter clockwise, FYI.
Have a great night Progressive. It was a pleasure talking with you. I am praying for everyone in Monica's path.
You too Rich. I am doing the same, name is Ryan BTW.
That is the new highres image...the last one is from 24 hours ago.

A couple things before I head to bed.

Monica is still steady state with a solid ring of convection surrounding the core. Recent microwave passes show there is no ERC in the making (to see a recent example of what the microwave looks like when an ERC is occuring, check out the images in the Katrina post TC report). Intensity has peaked (earlier this evng...around 2300Z timeframe) at the diurnal max. Note the difference now is probably not SSTs or shear (which are remaining favorable), but likely outflow. The extended time near land is also probably starting to have some effect, although the small core is completely over water. Expect continued steady state with very slow weakening up to a point, when things will fall apart very quickly.
Good night Ryan :)

Still waiting on the next image and estimate. Must be a temporary 1 day blackout or something.
Here we go:

BOM Has released an early forecast estimate. Monica is starting to turn southerly (WSW) and will cross uninhabited lands within a few hours. It is now expected to weaken moreso and hit Darwin as an Australian Category 3 (I am Guessing a Strong Cat2). This is similar to Glendas landfall a month ago, and won't cause too severe damage. I would say the rainfall would be right up about 300-400mm (12-16 Inches) from it though in the area, especially if it slows down through land. It is expected to also do a repeat of what Ingrid did last season, and cross into Western Australia late Tuesday local time.
Yeah I see it has made a huge southerly jog since we saw the last satellite image. It will make landfall in about 3 hours at Category 5 catastrophic intensity, but there is almost no civilization there. Very, very lucky for Darwin and the rest of the Northern Territory.
atmosweather woud you keep me update in my blog i had all most no post today in my blog and it been the last 6hrs or no post in my blog so i would love it if you can keep me up to date in my blog when i am sleeping or any one on her can as well i am off for the night

I think actually the very slight weakening is just because such strong storms can't possibly stay like that for extended periods of time. It is natural for Category 5's to weaken slightly over time. She is not being affected by limited outlfow (I don't think) since her core is still very strong and symmetrical.
Have a great night, David. I will try and update as much as I can but I think I have to go to bed pretty soon since I have school in 7 hours.
atmosweather an the only things i like you to keep me updat on in my blog on this storm is how storng it is the winds in mph the mb!!! is the fun part of the update me on and what what if it made land fall on would you do that for me in my blog from time to time? to keep me update
I will do as much as I can.
New MTSAT image is up. Eye has actually improved in shape, and the general cloud pattern has become less ragged again. Still a remarkable CDO:

I agree that Monica actually looks more impressive now than several hours ago. I am amazed it still looks like this with nearly half of the storm over land.
Its pretty amazing, isn't it. This is a true example of a self-sustaining storm that creates its own environment. She has not even been affected by having only 2 channels of outflow!!!
Is it possible the storms winds are more aloft, and not very high at ground level?
I wonder whether the UW-CIMSS program has been overloaded by Monica's strength. Even with the blackout, the next estimate should be from 0433 UTC, and there is usually a 50 minute delay in getting the newest update (so we should have had it 25 minutes ago).
Franck, we could never know that because there is no Hurricane Hunter to analyze the flight level and surface winds. However, since she is still annular and her circulation is extremely large in the 200 mb level, she probably has very strong winds down at the ground (she has also had the stadium effect, which usually means the winds are extremely powerful both in the upper levels and at the surface).
Most of this storm's winds are elevated considerably. This has to be, because it is tracking half over land, and while the terrain
is not mountainous there, it is 50-100 ft beginning right at the coastline.
Plus, Cape Wessel recorded 70 kt sustained winds BEFORE INSTRUMENT FAILURE over 2 hours before the eye's closest approach 9and even then, the eyewall stayed over 50 miles away!!!). So it is likely that the winds are very strong down at the ground.
Atmos..you are probably right. If that is the case what is going to slow this thing to a 2 or 3 before it impacts Darwin?
Maybe we will get to see it break like an egg when the eye impacts land in a couple of hours.
By the way, I am wondering about this line in Masters' entry:

However, be reminded that the Northern Hemisphere Pacific Ocean had a very below-normal tropical cyclone season last year, and the Indian Ocean also had below normal activity.

Is there any reason for this (below normal activity in the Pacific and Indian Oceans and greatly above normal in the Atlantic and around Australia). Maybe the AMO can affetc the entire world - if El Nino/La Nina affects the world, then it makes sense that the AMO can. It could also just be a coincidence or related to something else (although I wouldn't be surprised if a NW Pacific storm beat Tip this year).
It will be going over a bunch of land... that will knock it down quite a bit.
In this microwave loop, you can see the eyewall contract and become better defined; the feeder band connected to it weakens as well:

Yes, the AMO does affect the entire world, and so does the ENSO. Look at the tremendous floods in the Phillippines due to La Nina this February.

The main factor in the weakening when it gets near Darwin is that it will be over land and will have endured a lot of friction like every storm goes through. Storms this powerful also tend to weaken more quickly due to the fact that they have been used to such a perfect environment to get to that intensity.
The Northern Territory coast is just getting hammered right now by the southern eyewall.
A lot of trees will be having a bad time of it the next 24 hours. Hundreds of miles of tropical beaches and nobody lives there. I would kill to live in a place like that.
LOL Hawkeye. I am just thanking God that it has jogged SW in the last 3 hours, and will end the constant battering of the coastline, and also spare Darwin a catastrophe of Katrina standards.

I'm off to bed now. Great talking with all of you. Have a great night everyone.

296. Ezzz
Well it is Monday 24th 4:27PM over here in Australia, Monica is certainly a powerful monster and is rounding out our Cyclone Season well which runs from November 1st to April 30th. It has been an average year for cyclones this year, I wouldn't call it an overly active season, the Indian Ocean has been pretty busy this year churning out a few cyclones, and the Coral Sea (where Monica formed) has been quieter than it usually is. But cyclones this year have been generally more intense but the cyclone amount has only been average.
I'm at the same latitude as New Orleans (except I'm south of the equator obviously) and I'm on nearly the most southern part of the Low Risk of what is deemed the Cyclone Threat Area. Haven't had a cyclone here since the 70's, but we always get a few of ECL's every year.
297. iyou
Hey Ezzz! I was taking a last look at some sats and saw your post. Australian eh?! I was wondering where you are at...and I'm glad you are in a safe area. I hope your Northern neighbours are doing whatever necessary to protect themselves ... Monica is a beast ... but looking good in the sats. As well as flora and fauna, I am concerned about damage to the Great Barrier Reef when these cyclones blow through. Any info would be great.
298. Ezzz
I'm not to sure about what damage Cyclones do to the Great Barrier Reef, and you don't here anything about any damage to the reef so it must be pretty minimal.
Usually it is, though a few cyclones have done solid damage.

Darwin got lucky, Monica turned south and is making landfall now (still has those 155kt winds O_O)
What on earth happened to her? She just shrunk and lost all of her solid eyewall. There is no possible way that the winds were 155 kts at landfall.
301. lemmo
at 8:16 pm CST Monday 24 April 2006

A CYCLONE WARNING is current for coastal and island communities between ELCHO

A CYCLONE WATCH is current between PORT KEATS and KALUMBURU in Western

At 7 pm CST [5:30 pm WST] SEVERE TROPICAL CYCLONE Monica CATEGORY 5 was crossing
the coast about 30 kilometres west of MANINGRIDA, which is 125 kilometres east
northeast of Oenpelli and 355 kilometres east northeast of DARWIN, and moving
west southwest at 14 kilometres per hour. The cyclone is expected to continue to
move west southwest, and commence to weaken as it moves across northwestern
Arnhem Land tonight, but will still be a SEVERE TROPICAL CYCLONE as it moves
across the northwest DARWIN-DALY and TIWI ISLANDS area during Tuesday.

The VERY DESTRUCTIVE core of SEVERE TROPICAL CYCLONE Monica with gusts to 350
kilometres per hour is currently affecting parts of the coast between MANINGRIDA
and GOULBURN ISLAND, and is expected to approach the DARWIN-DALY and TIWI ISLAND
area on Tuesday afternoon with gusts to 220 kilometres per hour.

DESTRUCTIVE WINDS with gusts to 160 kilometres per hour are currently being
experienced on the far north coast between MANINGRIDA and GOULBURN ISLAND, and
should progress further west and inland to affect the COBOURG PENINSULA and
OENPELLI tonight, and will then approach the northwest DARWIN-DALY and TIWI
ISLANDS area during Tuesday morning.

GALES with gusts to 100 kilometres per hour are currently being experienced on
the north of the Top End coast, and will extend westward with the cyclone,
approaching the northwest DARWIN-DALY and TIWI ISLANDS area from early Tuesday
morning. GALES may extend further west to KALUMBURU in Western Australia during

DANGEROUSLY HIGH TIDES could cause EXTENSIVE FLOODING at the coast between

HEAVY RAIN is expected to cause significant stream rises and flooding of low
lying areas in across the northern Top End tonight and tomorrow.

Details of SEVERE TROPICAL CYCLONE Monica at 7 pm CST [5:30 pm WST]:
. Centre located near...... 11.8 degrees South 134.1 degrees East
. Location accuracy........ within 30 kilometres
. Recent movement.......... towards the west southwest at 14 km/h
. Wind gusts near centre... 350 kilometres per hour
. Intensity................ CATEGORY 5
. Central pressure......... 915 hectoPascals

A CYCLONE WATCH extends southwest to KALUMBURU in Western Australia.

The next advice will be issued at 11 pm CST [9:30 pm WST].
Agreed, Atmos, but the Navy/JTWC only update every 12 hours.

Definetly not a Cat 5 anymore, but still displaying some stunning symmetry.
Heh - Masters posted 145kt/892mb as peak intensity ;)
Official T-# now 7.0
305. staC
What on earth happened to her? She just shrunk and lost all of her solid eyewall. There is no possible way that the winds were 155 kts at landfall.

What are you looking at that makes you say this?
Good luck to all of our friends in OZ. I will gladly ship back any koalas that get blown this way...or I can send them back via our next hurricane here in Florida.

307. lemmo
Maningrida readings here show the centre moving away, the winds switching around. The centre crossed land 30km to the west according to BoM, so perhaps the fact that the station only recorded max 80 knot gust suggests a weakening?

suggest some weakening, or very concentrated winds at the centre. A lot of rain though. Haven't the areas around Katherine had a lot of rain recently so the ground is saturated, so heavy rain from Monica could be a problem?

New Linkstorm track and intensity models show much more agreement now, for a rapid weakening.
308. Ezzz
Yes, Katherine had a 19.8m flood (I think it was either the 2nd or 3rd biggest ever there). So if any substantial amounts fall (100-200mm) over a widespread area in 24 hours, there should be some major rises.
Down here I'm under the threat of 'onshore showers' from a High down south directing a S to SE airstream over us, and will create a damp ANZAC Day for areas between Ulladulla and Brisbane.
309. staC
Its weakening now, cause its over land. Monica made land fall 3 times, twice probably as the most severe hurricane to ever hit land.
Good Piont
I love all the comparisons to the Atlantic/Pacific (right now an Aussie Storm for our friends in OZ).

You can make comparisons in how they look, but the pressure comparisons can't really be done without looking at the background pressure normally in that area. I see people saying that this one was 868 and a World Record. If it is then that would be cool(but not for anyone who get hurt, but in a meterogical sense), but if we "translate" Wilma, over to the Pacific basin, it looks to push that pressure down into the 850's.

Right now it seems as if everyone has to experience the BEST/WORST/Strongest hurricane ever. For the people hit by Katria, I'm sure they want to believe that no storm strong then that will ever exist and nobody will ever live through the hell they did.

Its human nature to want to believe that what we are seeing and living through is the WORST/BEST/RECORD SETTING event. To me this is no different.

In this case I see everyone saying the wind is over 210, which it maybe on radar or on a Dvorak chart, but there hasn't really been a direct sampling of winds as there are on the Atlantic basin.

We really should get something going and fly into every major tropical cyclone we can to learn as much and help make our models more accurate. All I see here is a compact Camielle like storm that we miss out on a great chance to learn from because noone flew into it to really sample the storm. We will never really know the real pressure because someone earlier said it could be + or - 10mb or more from a Sat reading and different sats give different readings.

I will say its a beautiful storm, but I loved the rapid strengthing of Wilma and the pinhole eye was amazing.

Hi people.

I'm a cartoonist who lives and works in Darwin. Stumbled across this site by accident, excellent reading. For anybody interested in knowing what it was like on the ground here during Monica's approach, I kept a cyclone diary on my blog at wickingtoons.blogspot.com

Have to say this thing scared the hell out of us. We've had some big storms in recent years, but none have presented as great a threat to the city as Monica. Luckily, we dodged the bullet this time.