Ex-Tropical Cyclone Iris.
Ex-Tropical Cyclone Iris. Bureau of Meteorology

Zombie cyclone building up for a third crack

Wednesday update:

Ex-Tropical Cyclone Iris is slowly building up to be brought back to life as a cyclone in the next two days, weather experts warn.

Currently sitting off the coast of Cooktown, the Bureau of Meteorology's satellite imagery shows the system still has a lot of life in it yet and it's building.

Wally's Weather posted a video this morning using the US Navy's Joint Typhoon Warning Centre modelling, which has ex-TC Iris as a medium chance of re-developing.

"Medium means cyclone development likely, but expected to occur beyond 24 hours," Wally explained.

"If we have a look at the water vapour satellite imagery, particularly the animation, we can see there's lots of water vapour which is good development for a cyclone which means lots of rain."

He also explained the Southern Oscillation Index, which is at 12.4. A strongly and consistently positive SOI pattern (eg consistency above about +6 over a two-month period) is related to a high probability of above the long-term average rainfall for many areas of Australia - a La Nina.



AS EX-TROPICAL Cyclone Iris grows more likely to be re-born for a third time on Thursday, another is wreaking havoc on the Fiji islands today.

Severe Tropical Cyclone Keni made landfall southwest of Viti Levu about midday today, Vanuatu press are reporting.

The Fiji Meteorological Service says on its current track the Category 3 storm is expected to be located about 67km south of Nadi or about 105km northwest of Kadavu at 2pm today and about 51km west-southwest of Matuku or about 250km northwest of Ono-i-Lau at 8pm today.

Coastal communities to the south west of Fiji including the islands of Vatulele, Yanuca and Beqa will bear the brunt of Tropical Cyclone Keni.



National Disaster Management Office director Anare Leweniqila told the Vanuatu Independent that TC Keni is projected to be at its closest at 3pm today when it will be 90km off of Nadi.

"Severe Tropical Cyclone Keni has undergone rapid intensification over the past 24hrs to reach 'Severe', Category 3 strength with winds to 185km/h near the centre," Higgins Storm Chasing said.

"The system is currently situated just West to South West of Viti Levu and its expected to start taking a more South Easterly track immediately, with a bypass of Viti Levu to the South.

"This should mean that Viti Levu (the main Fiji Island) is spared, but the small Islands to the south could come under threat of the more severe impacts such as destructive to very destructive winds, heavy rain and even a small storm surge depending on how close the system wants to get to them."

Higgins warned due to the fast movements of the system, conditions were likely to rapidly deteriorate this afternoon with winds rapidly increasing to around 100km/h to possibly 130km/h at Nadi and surrounds, possibly higher, with waves of heavy rain coming in that will quickly accumulate.


Satellite imagery of ex-TC Iris clinging to life east of Cooktown and Cyclone Keni that made landfall in Fiji today.
Satellite imagery of ex-TC Iris clinging to life east of Cooktown and Cyclone Keni that made landfall in Fiji today. Bureau of Meteorology

Zombie Cyclone Iris to be re-born

Meanwhile, the Bureau of Meteorology has increased the chances of Iris developing back into a cyclone on Thursday, with it having a 'moderate' chance (20-50%) of intensifying once more.

BOM meteorologist Lauren Pattie, said Iris re-developing into a tropical cyclone and where it will go depended on the surrounding environment.

"For example Iris as she moved further south she moved into a less favourable environment which is why she initially died," Ms Pattie said.

"Then she's moved back up to the north into a better environment, so it's largely based on what's going on around that system."

The system is expected to move slowly to the north over the next few days and remain well off the Queensland coast. Conditions become somewhat more favourable for the system to redevelop from mid-week, the bureau said.



"She's moving north, but she is well off shore of the Queensland coast," Ms Pattie said.

"Towards the weekend she will move a bit closer to the coast, but as she does so she weakens out.

"The other thing to consider if she moves too far northward she'll be in Papua New Guinea's area of responsibility."

Due to the poor conditions of development near Australian shores it is unlikely that Iris will return as a cyclone.

Ms Pattie said that Iris was not the fist tropical cyclone to exhibit such bizarre behaviour.

Cyclones Dylan and Rewa both looped around the coast, losing and re-gaining intensity before dwindling off.

Although similar cyclones have been seen before, a tropical storm with a life as long as Iris is a rare occurrence.