An unusually early season tropical cyclone may develop and target northern Australia this weekend.
A tropical low spinning in the Indian Ocean between Indonesia and Western Australia has the potential to spin up into a tropical cyclone as it approaches northern Australia.
If such development takes place, the cyclone is not expected to become extremely strong. Its intensity will instead be equal to that of a minimal tropical storm in the Atlantic or Pacific basins.
That does not mean the cyclone will not pose hazards. Places along its path could still be subject to wind gusts of 60 kph (40 mph) and rain amounts of 75 to 150 mm (3 to 6 inches).
Sporadic tree damage and power outages, as well as flash flooding incidents, may unfold.
The path of the potential cyclone takes it near the far northern tip of Western Australia's Kimberley region Saturday afternoon or night local time, then into the Northern Territory on Sunday.
While weakening would occur as the cyclone crosses the Northern Territory, the window for it to strengthen could open again next week if it tracks over the warm waters of the Gulf of Carpentaria.
"It is very rare to get a November cyclone," stated AccuWeather.com Expert Senior Meteorologist Jason Nicholls when discussing tropical development near Australia.
The Australian cyclone season officially starts in November, but tropical activity typically holds off until December.
"The earliest cyclone to impact the northwest coast [of Australia] in a season was on Nov. 19, 1910, when the eye passed over Broome," according to the Australian Bureau of Meteorology.