New Year tropical low tipped along with big rainfall
THE risk of a "significant tropical low" in the northern Coral Sea is likely to increase in the first week of 2019, the Bureau of Meteorology has warned.
While there is no risk of a tropical cyclone developing over the next three days, the Bureau's Tropical Cyclone Outlook says that's about to change.
"In the longer term, the tropics are expected to become more active on the weekend, and the risk of a significant tropical low developing in the northern Coral Sea is likely to increase next week," the bureau's outlook says.
Windy.com, which uses the EC weather model, is forecasting heavy rainfall for North Queensland over the next 10 days.
In areas around Cairns, they're predicting 400-700mm of rain over the next 10 days.
Parts of the region between Townsville and Cardwell are forecast to get 100-400mm in the same time period.
Up in the Gulf of Carpentaria, weather officials are keeping an eye on a tropical low over the Arafura Sea expecting to track westward into the Timor Sea in the next couple of days.
The Bureau says the environment will become more favourable for cyclone/tropical low development from Friday.
"In the longer term, the monsoon trough is expected to form and deepen in the region over the weekend," the three-day cyclone outlook says.
"There is potential for development of another tropical low within the trough, though the location of formation of this low remains uncertain."
There is a 5-20% chance of a tropical cyclone developing in the Northern Region on Friday and Saturday.
Cooler end to 2018
Meanwhile Townsville residents are making the most of cooling sea breezes and cloudy conditions as they spend the final days of 2018 outdoors.
The Strand proved a particularly popular location on Boxing Day, with hundreds of people enjoying the parks and beach over the public holiday.
The Bureau of Meteorology has forecast a medium chance of showers for today with partly cloudy conditions for the remainder of the week expected to keep temperatures at a top of about 32C for the rest of the year.
The average December maximum temperature for Townsville is 31.5C.
Meteorologist James Thompson said light winds becoming east to south-easterly for the next five days will also impact Townsville.
"Sea breezes will start to develop over the next couple of days," he said.
"It will definitely feel a little cooler with those winds and probably a little less humid."
Mr Thompson said there was a strong wind warning current for Townsville waters today.
"Keep an eye out if you're heading out in waters, most strong winds are off shore so protected areas will be okay," he said.
Mr Thompson said there was about a 60 per cent chance of showers today.
"There's still quite a bit of moisture in the area, but most of the heavier showers are north of Townsville … here it will be mostly partly cloudy," he said.
The Ross River Dam is currently at 68 per cent full, the highest its been at this time of year since 2012.