Over recent days, an unusual tropical storm has formed east of the Solomon Islands. It is highly unusual because it has formed in June and July in the southern Hemisphere close to Australian waters and at a time where such storms would not normally form.
This storm has been very slow moving and even stationary at times. It has waxed and waned in intensity and it is not following the forecast models. Models have suggested that the storm would move west, then south. The latest CIMSS model shows the storm moving south west towards the Queensland coast but a review of the Solomon Island weather network identifies that the storm is currently moving North east although very slowly.
The attached CIMSS model and satellite photo (Acquired 2 July 2015) suggests movement south west towards the north Queensland coast but weakening. The CIMSS has the storm as being a “Tropical Storm” only. Yet the Solomon Islands weather centre has suggested that the storm reached a weak Category 1 tropical cyclone although now being downgraded.
Should the storm move south west, it will rapidly weaken because it will pass over waters dropping to 25C which is too cool to sustain such a storm. The storm is currently sitting over waters of 30C.
Winds at the centre have dropped to 35 knots at its present location of 6.4 degrees south and 160.1 degrees east or 52 nautical miles south of Ontong Java Atolls. There is heavy rain being warned for any population centre in its path. Generally, this storm according to the model will eventually decay but it is interesting to see such a tropical storm near Australian waters at this time of year.