First Queensland cyclone of the season could form tonight
THERE is a high chance a tropical cyclone will form in Queensland's Gulf of Carpentaria tonight, the Bureau of Metereology has warned.
When the current tropical low intensifies into a Category 1 cyclone, which BoM predicts to happen about 7pm Friday, the cyclone is expected to be named Alfred.
A Tropical Cyclone Advice, issued at 7.30am Friday, shows the warning zone being the Northern Territory/Queensland border to Burketown with a further watch zone Port McArthur to the Northern Territory/Queensland border.
"The tropical low situated to the west of Mornington Island is expected to continue moving in a general westwards direction today and may form into a tropical cyclone by tonight," the BoM advice says.
"It is possible that the system may reach category 2 intensity near the Qld/NT border on Saturday, but this will be highly dependent on the system taking a track over water during the next 24 hours.
"Alternatively, if the system takes a track over land today, formation into a tropical cyclone would most likely be delayed until the weekend."
Destructive winds, with gusts in excess of 125kmh, may occur near the NT/Qld border during Saturday, but this will be "highly dependent on the system reaching category 2 intensity", BoM warns.
"Heavy rain, which may lead to localised flash flooding, is also possible in areas about the southern Gulf of Carpentaria coast, islands and adjacent inland areas during today and over the weekend," the advice says.
"Abnormally high tides are expected about the southern Gulf of Carpentaria coast today and over the weekend, but at this stage the sea level is not forecast to exceed the highest tide of the year. Large waves are likely along the beachfront."
People between Burketown (Queensland) and the NT/Queensland border should take precautions and listen to the next advice from the Bureau, expected about 11am.
- February 17, 7am: Tropical low
- February 17, 1pm: Tropical low
- February 17, 7pm: Category 1
- February 18, 1am: Category 1
- February 18, 7am: Category 2
- February 18, 7pm: Category 2
The next forecast track map will be issued by 11am Friday.