Tropical Climate Update

Tropical Cyclone Lincoln crossed the Northern Territory coast

Tropical low 07U developed into Tropical Cyclone Lincoln in the southern Gulf of Carpentaria on the morning of 16 February. Tropical Cyclone Lincoln tracked south and soon crossed the remote Northern Territory coast between Port McArthur and the Queensland border in the afternoon of the same day. 

Tropical Cyclone Lincoln was soon downgraded to a tropical low and continued to move west across the inland Carpentaria, Barkly and Gregory and northern Tanami Districts of the Northern Territory to the Kimberley of Western Australia on 20 February.  

Tropical Cyclone Lincoln brought heavy daily rainfall of 100 mm to 200 mm in the Northern Territory and the Gulf Country of Queensland. Groote Eylandt Airport in the Gulf of Carpentaria recorded a daily total of 119 mm on the 15th, a February record at the site. Centre Island off the Carpentaria coast in the Northern Territory recorded a wind gust of 85 km/h (43 knots) on the 16th and 326.8 mm for the 2 days ending the 17th.  Sweers Island in Queensland recorded 227 mm on the 17th, also a February daily rainfall record at the site. Tennant Creek and Rabbit Flat recorded daily rainfall of 138.4 mm (to 9 am on the 18th) and 109 mm to 9 am on the 19th) respectively. As of 20 February, flood watches have been issued at multiple rivers catchments in the Northern Territory and Queensland's Gulf Country. 

 Ex-Tropical Cyclone Lincoln is forecast to move to waters west of the Kimberley and there is high chance (55%) it could redevelop to cyclone intensity on 22 February. The reformed cyclone likely tracks south-west towards the west Pilbara coast on weekend.  

Tropical Cyclone Lincoln is the fourth Tropical Cyclone of the 2023-24 season, and it is the first time that a Tropical Cyclone formed in the Gulf of the Carpentaria since Tropical Cyclone Alfred in February 2017. 


For more information on the ex-Tropical Cyclone Lincoln (07U) forecast, visit here.

For more information on flood watch and warnings, visit here.

Monsoonal rain lifted wet season rainfall totals to average in the Top End of the Northern Territory

Monsoonal flow brought widespread thunderstorms and frequent showers to the Top End of the Northern Territory in the past nine days (10-18 February), with 9-day rainfall totals recorded in the 100 mm to 300 mm range.  

Darwin Airport recorded a 9-day total of 357.6 mm, which is close to its February average of 370 mm. For the Wet Season to date (1 October 2023 to 20 February 2024), Darwin Airport recorded 1206.2 mm in total, which is close to its long-term average of October-February rainfall. 

Madden–Julian Oscillation has weakened

The Madden–Julian Oscillation (MJO) has weakened significantly in the central Pacific Ocean in the past week and is now weak or indiscernible. All international climate models indicate the MJO will remain weak in the coming week, with some models suggesting a strengthening in Maritime Continent at the start of March.

Product code: IDCKGEW000

About the Tropical Climate Update

The Tropical Climate Update is published weekly during the northern wet season (October to April). For the remainder of the year it is published fortnightly, on alternate weeks to the Climate Driver Update.

The Climate Driver Update provides a summary of the major climate drivers affecting Australia, including tropical climate drivers.

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