Severe Tropical Cyclone Ului is expected to begin moving closer to the Queensland coast on Friday. Image provided by Bureau of Meteorology at 11am today (Thursday).
Severe Tropical Cyclone Ului is expected to begin moving closer to the Queensland coast on Friday. Image provided by Bureau of Meteorology at 11am today (Thursday).

Whitsundays on cyclone watch

TROPICAL Cyclone Ului is expected to turn towards the Queensland coast tomorrow.

Forecasters at the Bureau of Meteorology are predicting that the cyclone will cross the Queensland coast, between Bowen and Gladstone, over the weekend.

Bryan James, a forecaster with the Bureau of Meteorology in Brisbane, said the cyclone was likely to cross the coast on Saturday night or Sunday morning if it hit land at all.

"If it crosses in the Whitsundays then it may happen earlier than that because it is further east," he said.

"The cyclone is likely to hold its intensity as a category four cyclone."

A category four is a cyclone with an average wind speed of 118km/h and is capable of wind gusts between 225km/h and 280km/h.

As of yesterday afternoon, the cyclone was moving in a southerly direction and was about 1200 kilometres from Mackay. As a result of the cyclone threat, Emergency Management Queensland (EMQ) is asking all people in the Queensland central region to consider their cyclone preparations.

EMQ Regional Director for Central Region Robbie Medlin said people should use this time to prepare.

"At this stage we are not certain of where the cyclone may impact if it does hit which makes it vitally important that everyone is prepared for the possibility of impact," he said.

"At the very least people should use this opportunity to review their preparations and emergency kits to make sure everything is up to date should it be needed."

Meanwhile Peter Faust Dam has reached its highest level since 1991.

The dam is currently holding at 85.1 per cent capacity.

The only time the dam has been higher than this since its construction in 1990 was in the aftermath of Cyclone Joy in 1991 when it reached 98.5 per cent.

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