Former tropical cyclone Penny may be just what the NT needs to kick start the wet.
Penny could drag down delayed monsoonal rains on her possible return to northern Australia next week.
Weather forecasters say cyclones like Penny, and Owen before her, disturbed the monsoonal flow on their sweeps back and forwards across northern Australia.
The Top End has been receiving isolated thunderstorms but not the monsoonal flows needed to drive the true wet season.
In the Bureau of Meteorology’s latest predictions, its experts say the downgraded cyclone may kickstart the wet.
“If ex-TC Penny tracks far enough west, the monsoon trough may extend over northern Australia,” the bureau said this afternoon.
“Penny could strengthen over open waters across northern Australia, drawing monsoonal flow across the region.”
Giving Penny a hand is another weather phenomenon called the Madden–Julian Oscillation which is now weakening “so local weather systems will dominate tropical rainfall patterns”.
Penny is expected to continue moving towards the Queensland east coast during today.
Based on the current forecast track, Penny is set to move onto the Queensland east coast during tomorrow.
Although Penny remains as a tropical low, it is still expected to produce heavy rain and damaging winds about areas of the central and tropical east coast of Queensland.
The bureau says the system will then move towards the Gulf of Carpentaria and continue to track west across the Top End, where we can expect to see an increase in rainfall from late this week and during the weekend.
There could be widespread daily rainfall totals of 50-100mm with isolated heavy falls of up to 200mm.
“As Ex-TC 'Penny' tracks west, we can expect to see monsoon-like conditions, with grey skies, gusty squally lines and solid rainfall totals over large areas of the Top End.
“The full monsoon onset for the western Top End is not expected for at least the next week,” the bureau said this afternoon.
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