A tropical low off far north Queensland could brew into a tropical cyclone in the new year, but even if it doesn’t, people there will face damaging winds and continued heavy rain.
The low is expected to drift west and reach the warm waters of the Gulf of Carpenteria where it could intensify, says Jonathon How of the Bureau of Meteorology.
There’s now a high chance the low in the #GulfofCarpentaria will intensify into #Cyclone Penny from Tuesday this week. Most likely impacts will be to the #Queensland coast as the system is expected to u-turn back eastwards on Tues/Weds. Outlook here: https://t.co/kVBZhC9wZJ pic.twitter.com/sGQX9Onwka— Bureau of Meteorology, Northern Territory (@BOM_NT)
“At this stage there is a moderate chance of it developing into a tropical cyclone on Monday or Tuesday, and if it does it will be named Tropical Cyclone Penny,” he said on Sunday.
The BOM still doesn’t know for sure but even if it doesn’t become a cyclone, northern Queensland can still expect strong winds and heavy rainfall. Mr How says there is a severe weather warning for heavy rain and damaging winds for areas north of Cairns and a floodwatch.
The area has already had heavy rainfall with 452 millimetres at Cairns and 800mm at the Daintree by early Sunday.
The deluge has the potential to cause flash flooding and has swollen rivers and creeks.
🌀 #Cyclone Watch has been issued between #Kowanyama and the #TorresStrait Islands. Heavy rain and damaging winds likely across #FNQ over the next few days. All the current warnings can be found at https://t.co/ElIi8rarvH pic.twitter.com/kDkwXjxGJA— Bureau of Meteorology, Queensland (@BOM_Qld)
A land and water search was underway on Sunday for a 34-year-old woman missing in rapid floodwaters.
The woman was last seen walking into fast-flowing Wallaby Creek at Rossville, north of Cairns, on Thursday.
Queensland Emergency Services has advised north Queenslanders on Facebook that with rain and severe weather around, it was a good time to make sure their preparations were in order, such as emergency kits.
It should include food and water, medical and sanitation supplies, a flashlight with extra batteries, battery powered or wind-up radio, fully charged mobile phone and charger, clothing and footwear, tools and supplies and important documents,” QFES says.