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Fox News Weather Center

Tropical Cyclone Nathan to Strengthen Before Third Landfall

Tropical Cyclone Nathan has been plaguing Australia for nearly two weeks and the threat is not over yet as a third landfall is expected in Australia's Top End early this week.

After crossing the northeastern tip of the Northern Territory over the weekend, the center of Nathan moved back over the very warm water of the Arafure Sea Sunday night, local time.

Once the center of Nathan hit the warm water, thunderstorms rapidly began to develop signifying the cyclone was strengthening once again.

As the center of Nathan remain over the water, additional strengthening is expected and the cyclone will once again become as strong as hurricane, or a severe Category 3 tropical cyclone.

Despite the center being offshore into Tuesday, heavy rainfall will still batter the coast of Australia's Top End. Locally in excess of 150 mm (6 inches) of rain will fall leading to flooding. While there will be a gusty wind in squalls, the strongest wind will remain offshore.

Darwin will remain in advance of the storm through Tuesday with no significant impacts. The middle of the week is when rain chances will increase as Nathan, albeit a weak tropical cyclone or low, tracks near the city and draws tropical moisture onshore. Flooding rain will be the most significant threat for the city.

Tropical Cyclone Nathan formed on March 10, off the northeastern Queensland coast, bringing flooding rain to the region over the course of several days. Over 500 mm (20 inches) of rain fell in a few areas.

The cyclone then slowly moved away from the coast allowing flood waters to recede, only to return making a landfall early Friday morning, March 20, between Cooktown and Cape Melville, as a severe Category 4 tropical cyclone, according to Australia's Bureau of Meteorology.

This brought a second round of flooding rainfall to northeast Queensland. A total of 114 mm (4.47 inches) of rain inundated Cape Flattery on Thursday night into Friday morning with a 24-hour total of 166 mm (6.54 inches) recorded at Battle Camp.

The second landfall occurred over the weekend in the northeastern part of the Northern Territory, near Gove City where winds gusted to near 100 kph (60 mph). A total of 75 mm (3 inches) of rain was reported as well.