Concern is mounting for the first tropical cyclone of the season for the Australia Basin to form early next week.
While the tropics surrounding the waters of Australia will remain quiet as 2014 transitions to 2015, a tropical low is expected to develop near the Kimberley coast as the weekend comes to an end.
Warm water and a lack of wind shear (strong winds above the surface that can tear tropical systems apart) will allow the low to strengthen as it tracks southwestward along the northern coast of Western Australia early next week.
How close the low tracks to the coast will determine the severity of the wind and heavy rain in coastal communities. Rough surf will also become a danger as the cyclone strengthens.
AccuWeather.com Senior Meteorologist Jason Nicholls is also putting the mining industry and oil refineries in the region on alert for future impacts from the cyclone next week.
Anyone with interests in the area should continue to check back with AccuWeather.com as the cyclone develops and more precise details on its impacts become available.
While Tropical Cyclone Alessia was a rare November tropical cyclone in 2013, the seasonal outlook that released at the end of October anticipated a slower start to this tropical cyclone season due to the cool waters off Australia's coast.
At that time, the team of AccuWeather.com meteorologists led by Nicholls called for a total of nine tropical cyclones to form this season with four impacting the Australian coast. The seasonal average for tropical cyclones in the Australian Basin is 11.
Five of those tropical cyclones are expected to develop in the Western region with two in the Northern region and two in the Eastern region.