Tropical cyclone gathers in Qld with heavy rain, strong winds | Alds

Tropical cyclone gathers in Qld with heavy rain, strong winds

The Bureau of Meteorology’s Townsville radar is offline as Tropical Cyclone Niran approaches north Queensland with a chance it could be upgraded to Category 3.

A strengthening low pressure system is sitting in a monsoon trough 200 kilometres off the coast of Innisfail and it is expected to develop to tropical cyclone strength on Tuesday.

The cyclone may move close enough to the coast to bring gale force winds, heavy rainfall and unusually high tides.

However, the BoM’s Townsville radar will be offline during this time due to a technical fault and is set to be sidelined for several days.

Experts from the BOM believe the risk of a cyclone developing on Monday is moderate but its status will upgrade to high on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Forecast tracking predicts the cyclone could reach Category 2 by Wednesday but it may even reach Category 3.

Significantly high tides are causing heavy rainfall that has already begun in some areas.

“Although a direct coastal impact is not expected, gales are possible about exposed coastal and island areas as the system reaches cyclone strength. Heavy rainfall is also likely,” the forecast said.

Flood watches are in place for a stretch of the north Queensland coast.

“We will see the heaviest from probably Innisfail to Ingham coast over the next 24 hours but it all depends on where the tropical low goes as to where the worst of the rain hits,” a Bureau of Meteorology spokesman told NCA NewsWire.

“People living in areas likely to be affected by this flooding should take measures to protect their property as much as possible and be prepared to help their neighbours.”

A stretch of the north Queensland coast, from Cooktown down to Lucinda, is expected to be slammed on Tuesday morning by wind gusts of up to 100 km/h.

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