MJO Inspires Widening Western Desert Heat in Australia; Dangerous Tropical Systems Appear

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Fig. 1: A full-blown convection phase of the Madden Julian oscillation is on display north of Australia.

Discussion: “The Western Desert lives and breathes in 45 degrees” (famous Australian rock band Midnight Oil from the 1980’s) and that heat expands eastward over the next 2 weeks in Australia thanks to an intense convection phase of the Madden Julian oscillation (MJO) already in-place to the north of the continent. The massive area of thunderstorms has already spawned to tropical systems in the South Indian Ocean. More are on the way. A tropical cyclone ALERT is issued to the northeast of Queensland where ECM develops a tropical system by late weekend. ECM indicates potential for a 960 MB major tropical cyclone moving into the central Queensland coast this time next week. Meanwhile, a tropical low-pressure system within the Northern Australia Wet Monsoon, breaks free traveling southwestward through northwest and west portions of Australia causing locally heavy rains. In-between the two tropical threats and south of the MJO convection, convective storms release heat into the mid-atmosphere to amplify the subtropical ridge over Australia causing expansion of the western desert heat eastward into Queensland and New South Wales where both GFS and ECM indicate potential for 110-115F/43-45C.