Queensland’s first east coast cyclone of the year has overnight weakened to a tropical low and moved offshore, allaying fears it could bring winds of up to 150 km/h when it reached land.
Ex-tropical cyclone Kimi was originally expected to cross the coast near Lucinda as a category 2 system, but turned southeast instead and weakened to a tropical low 135 km northeast of Townsville about 4am on Tuesday.
The Bureau of Meteorology had earlier described the system as “erratic” and “unusually unpredictable” after it repeatedly shifted direction.
The cyclone warning zone has been cancelled between Lucinda to Bowen, however the BOM warns winds of up to 65 km/h, with gusts up to 95 km/h, and heavy rainfall are still likely.
“The system is expected to remain slow moving well off the coast through much of today, then begin tracking back towards the north-northwest from late this afternoon as a weak tropical low,” the Bureau said at 4am.
High tides are expected between Bowen and Lucinda but the BOM said the sea level was not expected to approach the highest tide of the year.
BOM forecaster Rosa Hoff said there was still a chance of heavy rain on the periphery of the system, that could bring falls of between 20-50 mm between Innisfail and Proserpine.
“We won’t see the magnitude of rainfall that we would have if the system crossed the coast,” she said.
Meanwhile, southeast Queensland copped a dumping overnight as severe thunderstorms threatened residents from Gympie to the Bayside.
Heavy rain delayed play on the fourth day of the Gabba Test between Australia and India.
In the Redlands, southeast of Brisbane, the rain gauge picked up 191mm between 9am Monday and 6am Tuesday, almost 100mm of which fell within 60 minutes.
Although the dangerous storm system has passed, Ms Hoff said there could be more rain on the way.
“We continue to have a chance of seeing storm development in the region today,” she said.
“We expect the showers to be lighter than yesterday, less than 20mm, but we could see as much as 40mm if a large storm does develop.”
Looking ahead, showers will clear off the coast in the days ahead, however cloudy conditions and cooler temperatures will stick around until at least Thursday.