Cyclone Iggy is bearing down on the WA coastline, looking like intensifying into a Category 3 system at least, with talk of it reaching a higher intensity before impacting on the coastline. At this time, it looks like a track right into Exmouth Gulf (not a good scenario for the NWC towers…) is a possibility a few days from now; although with so many variables and so much distance still between Iggy and the coast, anything could happen.
But that’s just the background; it is this following satellite image that prompted this post. Is this a normal cloud satellite image?
UPDATE Jan 28, 11:20am WST:
The latest BoM cyclone track map now shows Iggy potentially changing course and missing a direct hit on the North West Cape – however anything could still happen. It isn’t easy to see what’s happening on radar though, the Learmonth radar (on the NWC) is “temporarily unavailable” …
UPDATE Jan 31, 1:00pm WST
Learmonth radar has been down again, from 3:10pm yesterday until 6:40am this morning. Considering it is a “Dedicated Weather Watch” radar, it “should be online at all times, with images updated approximately every 10 minutes, unless there are technical difficulties or scheduled maintenance”.
With Learmonth offline overnight, for who knows what reason, it’s interesting to look at the JTWC track map published within that time frame.
Although Iggy is expected to travel the track shown, it potentially still could end up anywhere within the shaded area. It’s worth noting, that shaded area, covering some 1200 kilometres of coastline, is considerably larger than usual.
Meanwhile, today’s updated JTCW map shows Iggy travelling a similar track to that shown above, but with the shaded uncertainty area halved and sitting over the region from 26 to 30 degrees south. Iggy should be no more than a low pressure system by the time it reaches the coast.