Tropical Cyclone Niran is expected to reach Category 2 status by lunch time today before further intensifying to a Category 3 weather system.
Tropical Cyclone Niran is expected to reach Category 2 status by lunch time today before further intensifying to a Category 3 weather system.

‘Intensifying’: Cyclone Niran likely to reach Category 3

UPDATE TUESDAY 8.08am: Abnormally high tides are about to hit Cairns as Cyclone Niran maintains its oceanic foray off the Far North coast.

The Category 1 system was sitting 275km northeast of Cairns and 265km east of Cooktown at 7am.

Winds were reaching 85km/h near the centre with gusts peaking at 120km/h.

The fierce weather that busted powerlines, broke trees and caused havoc in Cairns on Monday have subsided - but authorities have warned residents not to be complacent.

Tropical Cyclone Niran track map issued at 8.08am on Tuesday. PICTURE: BOM
Tropical Cyclone Niran track map issued at 8.08am on Tuesday. PICTURE: BOM

A high tide of 3.15m will hit Cairns at 10.28am on Tuesday with low-lying tidal areas expected to flood and cause significant damage to vehicles if parked in the wrong area.

The Bureau of Meteorology issued a new warning at 8.08am saying Niran was expected to continue intensifying over the next day or two.

It was forecast to maintain its northeast trajectory on Tuesday before becoming slow-moving or drifting back slowly west towards the coast on Tuesday night into Wednesday.

In the longer term, the system is expected to take a south-easterly track away from the coast from Thursday.

It will likely reach Category 2 status by 1pm on Tuesday, and Category 3 by 7am on Wednesday.

Jake Stackman clears debris from Gatton Street in Parramatta Park after a large tree fell across the road in wet and wild weather conditions. A tropical low in the Coral Sea is forecast to develop into a cyclone in the coming days. Picture: Brendan Radke
Jake Stackman clears debris from Gatton Street in Parramatta Park after a large tree fell across the road in wet and wild weather conditions. A tropical low in the Coral Sea is forecast to develop into a cyclone in the coming days. Picture: Brendan Radke

HAZARDS

Gales with gusts to 100km/h may develop about coastal and island communities between Cape Flattery and Innisfail late this evening or during Wednesday morning, and then extend further south to Lucinda later on Wednesday if the system tracks a significant distance to the west and closer to the coast.

Gales may also develop between Cape Melville and Cape Flattery later on Wednesday.

Heavy rainfall has eased along the north tropical coast, but may redevelop late this evening or during Wednesday in the warning area if the cyclone tracks closer to the coast.

A Flood Watch and several flood warnings are current for the north tropical coast between Cooktown and Rollingstone.

Abnormally high tides and large waves may cause minor flooding near the foreshore.

People likely to be affected should take measures to protect their property as much as possible and be prepared to help their neighbours.

RECOMMENDED ACTION

People between Cape Flattery and Lucinda should take precautions and listen to the next advice at 11am.

Information is available from your local government

For cyclone preparedness and safety advice, visit Queensland's Disaster Management Services website (www.disaster.qld.gov.au)

For emergency assistance call the Queensland State Emergency Service (SES) on 132 500 (for assistance with storm damage, rising flood water, fallen trees on buildings or roof damage)

Stay up-to-date at cairnspost.com.au

 

UPDATE TUESDAY 6am: Tropical Cyclone Niran has developed off the Far North Queensland coast with authorities watching warily as it hovers over the Coral Sea.

The Category 1 system was moving slowly northeast away from the coast at 5.12am with a warning zone still in place from Cape Flattery to Lucinda.

Winds near the centre were blowing at 75km/h with gusts to 120km/h.

The system has tracked further away from landfall and was last recorded sitting 235km northeast of Cairns and 270km northeast of Innisfail.

Tropical Cyclone Niran has formed of the Far North coast. PICTURE: BOM
Tropical Cyclone Niran has formed of the Far North coast. PICTURE: BOM

 

Cyclone Niran is expected to continue intensifying over the following two days.

A coastal crossing by the core of the cyclone is not expected, however gales may develop within the warning zone late this evening or Wednesday morning if the cyclone adopts a track further to the west.

In the longer term, the system is expected to take a south-easterly track away from the coast from Thursday.

The Bureau of Meteorology's Rosa Hoff said Mission Beach received 215mm of rain and nearby Clump Point received 268mm overnight.

"Overnight heavy falls eased back as the cyclone moved away from the coast, but we could see potentially heavy rainfall and gale force winds redevelop this evening, if it is closer to the coast," she said.

"It is pretty slow moving and we expect it to be in the same location for the next day or two.

"There will be abnormally high tides and large waves and that's something to be mindful of on the foreshore."

Wind gusts of 124km/h were recorded at Arlington Reef, 40km east of Cairns, on Monday.

Ms Hoff said wind at Cairns Airport was recorded at 85kmh and at Cairns Racecourse at 81km/h.

Gordonvale received 108mm and Cairns received 107mm on Monday.

 

HAZARDS

Gales with gusts to 100km/h may develop about coastal and island communities between Cape Flattery and Innisfail late this evening or during Wednesday morning, and then extend further south to Lucinda later on Wednesday if the system tracks a significant distance to the west and closer to the coast. Gales may also develop between Cape Melville and Cape Flattery later on Wednesday.

 

Heavy rainfall has eased along the north tropical coast, but may redevelop late this evening or during Wednesday in the warning area if the cyclone tracks closer to the coast. A Flood Watch and several flood warnings are current for the north tropical coast between Cooktown and Rollingstone.

 

Abnormally high tides and large waves may cause minor flooding near the foreshore. People likely to be affected should take measures to protect their property as much as possible and be prepared to help their neighbours.

 

RECOMMENDED ACTION

People between Cape Flattery and Lucinda should take precautions and listen to the next advice at 8am

Information is available from your local government

For cyclone preparedness and safety advice, visit Queensland's Disaster Management Services website (www.disaster.qld.gov.au)

For emergency assistance call the Queensland State Emergency Service (SES) on 132 500 (for assistance with storm damage, rising flood water, fallen trees on buildings or roof damage).

 

 

EARLIER MONDAY: Wind of up to 100km/h could pummel parts of Cairns and the Cassowary Coast as the low pressure system comes closer towards the coast tonight.

Bureau of Meteorology duty forecaster Shane Kennedy said the system, which is still not likely to be upgraded to a cyclone until Tuesday, would likely come within 90km of Cairns before turning back east.

 

A tree down near power lines at Babinda. PHOTO: Ergon Energy
A tree down near power lines at Babinda. PHOTO: Ergon Energy

 

He said wet and windy conditions already being felt along the coast are expected to worsen slightly.

"It's likely to be at its closest overnight due east of Cairns," he said.

"We're still expecting it to be a tropical cyclone by early tomorrow.

Cairns Airport has already recorded a wind gust of 85km/h, while Arlington Reef had a 91km/h gust.

Mr Kennedy said rainfall totals could reach up to 80mm in Cairns tomorrow, although there would be isolated falls of up to 150mm in some spots.

The latest 2pm update from the BoM saw the system likely to begin turning back out to sea around 1am overnight.

A total of 27,000 homes are now without power across the region with multiple reports of fallen powerlines.

 

 

 

EARLIER: Emergency services are considering whether to send water rescue experts to the Cassowary Coast amid deep concern over flooding risk across the already sodden region.

A cyclone warning is now officially in place between Cape Flattery and Lucinda, the Bureau of Meteorology says.

Gusts of up to 80km/h have been recorded at spots south of Cairns on Monday morning as the low pressure system continues to hover about 135km off the coast.

Hundreds of people are without power along sections of the Cassowary Coasts due to unplanned outages due to the weather.

The Bureau still expects the system to develop into a cyclone by Tuesday, intensifying to a category 2 on Wednesday while still sitting off the Far North coast.

The latest BoM update suggests it could reach a category 3 before tracking south.

Wet weather and wind gusts continue to impact the entire coastal region with multiple reports of trees and power lines down.

A palm tree blown onto power lines in Innisfail as the tropical low impacts the coast. Picture: Supplied
A palm tree blown onto power lines in Innisfail as the tropical low impacts the coast. Picture: Supplied

Far North region SES area controller Peter Rinaudo said all their groups were "on standby", while firefighting bosses were in talks to consider pre-deploying swift water rescue crews to the Cassowary Coast.

While the BoM still does not expect the system to make landfall, Mr Rinaudo said it was still expected to have a significant impact on the region, potentially for days.

"We're expecting heavy rainfall for the rest of the week and that's into catchments which are already flooded so it could lead to flooding - that's our greatest risk," he said.

Latest track map for tropical low off the Far North coast on Monday morning. Picture: BoM
Latest track map for tropical low off the Far North coast on Monday morning. Picture: BoM

"This system is going to hang around for a while.

"It is situated in the Coral Sea off the coast and creating a fair bit of weather."

He said the SES was prepared if the system suddenly intensified or changed track to a coastal crossing.

According to the BoM's latest update the system was still moving slowly towards the coast.

"Direct impact from the centre of the cyclone moving onto the coast is unlikely, however the system may remain close enough to the coast to cause gales about exposed coastal fringes and island communities," it said.

Gusts of up to 100km/h could occur between Cape Flattery and Lucinda on Monday and Tuesday and a flood watch remains in place between Mission Beach and Townsville.

Originally published as 'Intensifying': Cyclone Niran likely to reach Category 3


DON'T MISS OUT: Activate your bonus for big rewards

DON'T MISS OUT: Activate your bonus for big rewards

Did you know you can get even more – for free?

Island adventure catamaran under construction

Premium Content Island adventure catamaran under construction

The specially-designed vessel will take tourists to visit Mackay’s ‘incredible...

Top 20 Qld suburbs sponsoring foreign kids

Premium Content Top 20 Qld suburbs sponsoring foreign kids

These are the Queensland suburbs that have dug deep to sponsor children overseas.