Topical Cyclone 26S formed early Saturday morning in the southern Indian Ocean. The cyclone will continue to strengthen as it heads towards northern Madagascar.

As of Saturday evening local time, 26S had winds of 45 mph. It is just over 500 miles from northern Madagascar. 26S is moving to the west southwest at 5 mph. An increase in speed is expected. On this track, the center will reach northern Madagascar Monday morning local time.

will reach hurricane strength before making landfall.

The circulation associated with the cylcone is very large and a few showers and thunderstorms are already reaching northern Madagascar. The cyclone poses a very dangerous flooding threat to the Island.

Meanwhile, more rain is falling across the recently flood-ravaged areas of Australia. Coastal New South Wales and coastal Queensland have been hammered with very heavy rainfall over the past week. Flooding has been widespread.

Rainfall totals in the past week have exceeded 12 inches in several areas.

A cold front pushed into the region Saturday. The cold front will stall out and remain over the flooded areas through early next week. Additional rainfall of 1-3 inches is likely. Isolated amounts of 5 inches or more are possible.

Story by Senior Meteorologist Dave Samuhel