Tropical Cyclone Raquel forms making history
TROPICAL Cyclone Raquel has formed in the south-west Pacific near the Solomon Islands, triggering the earliest cyclone warning on record issued for the Queensland zone.
"Certainly it's a unique scenario," Jess Carey, a spokesman from the bureau's Queensland office, said. "Since we've been tracking cyclones with satellite-based technology, we haven't seen one in July."
The storm became a category 1 cyclone early on Wednesday morning and had a central pressure of 999 hPa about 410 km north of the Solomon Islands' capital of Honiara as of just before 5am, AEST, the Bureau of Meteorology said. It is forecast to strengthen to a category 2 system on Thursday.
"The cyclone is moving southwest at about 16 km per hour and should gradually intensify over the next 24 hours as it approaches the Solomon Islands," the bureau said in a statement. "The system will remain very far offshore and does not pose a threat to the Queensland coast."
The official cyclone season runs from November 1-April 30. Any cyclone after May or before October is considered unusual.
Read more on the Brisbane Times.