CYCLONE WATCH: A cyclone is predicted to form in the northern Coral Sea over the weekend. It is not expected to make landfall with the coast. Picture: windy.com.au
CYCLONE WATCH: A cyclone is predicted to form in the northern Coral Sea over the weekend. It is not expected to make landfall with the coast. Picture: windy.com.au

Cyclone ‘likely’ to form in FNQ, flood warning issued

WHITSUNDAY residents are being warned to get their umbrellas ready, with a low weather system in the Gulf of Carpentaria due to turn into a cyclone this week and bring a drenching with it.

Bureau of Meteorology meteorologist Shane Kennedy said it "was likely" for a cyclone to develop from Friday, with conditions currently favourable in the north.

He said the low would most likely form in the Gulf of Carpentaria before moving towards the northern Coral Sea as early as Wednesday, after crossing near Cooktown.

However, Mr Kennedy said the most impact to the Whitsundays would happen before the cyclone officially formed later in the week.

"We're expecting some possible heavy rain falls, and potentially even gale force winds over the next few days," he said.

"Even though the cyclone is possibly forming this weekend, the irony is it will actually drag the wild weather away from us.

"There's a southerly change pushing up, combined with those cyclone conditions there will be a bit of action."

The impending cyclone has also prompted a flood warning for townships between Cape Yorke and Mackay, but Mr Kennedy said they were "quite confident" the cyclone would not make impact with land and would continue to track east after it formed.

He said Whitsunday residents could expect between 50 to 100mm of rainfall tomorrow, 30 to 60mm on Thursday, with potentially as high as 75mm, and Friday would see 20mm, mostly in the morning.

"The region will definitely see some heavy falls, but not as much as the northern areas like Cairns and Ingham.

"We're confident that, if formed, the cyclone will stay well offshore and head away from the coast. It'll be rough on the waters, so it's suggested to avoid heading out."

Depending on whether another system off the coast of Western Australian develops first, the cyclone will be called either Gretel or Harold.


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