Chance of two cyclones forming

Cyclones may form in North Queensland


CLEAN-UP: Debris washes up on the foreshore at Rowes Bay, Townsville, after heavy rain flushed out rivers.

CLEAN-UP: Debris washes up on the foreshore at Rowes Bay, Townsville, after heavy rain flushed out rivers.

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Rainfall records smashed in North as potential for cyclone increase.

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RAINFALL records have been smashed and the wild weather is set to continue as two lows with the potential to develop into tropical cyclones form in the North.

Bureau of Meteorology Townsville Meteorologist Doug Fraser said widespread heavy rain in North-West Queensland was expected to continue this week.

Mr Fraser said it was possible that two cyclones could form in the coming week.

He said the low pressure system which started over Townsville and drifted west producing heavy rain may move into the Gulf, potentially forming into a cyclone.

​“If that happens there is a fair chance it will intensify and possibly become a tropical cyclone, though most models are taking it to the west,” Mr Fraser said.

He said there would be increased activity in the Coral Sea.

“The monsoon flow across the equator is starting to increase through the week and we’d expect to see rainfall over most of North Queensland increase, particularly in the Cassowary Coast area.

”There is a chance of a low pressure system developing in the Coral Sea possibly into the weekend.”

Mr Fraser said heavy falls had been recorded in the week leading up to March 5, with Bluewater north of Townsville getting the highest falls of 557mm and other suburbs receiving over 400mm.

Julia Creek received 224mm in the week, Cloncurry 181mm, Richmond 140mm, Glendowa 101mm, Mount Isa 94mm and Hughenden 76mm.

INUNDATED: Floodwater stops traffic on the Gregory Highway near Mount Fox Road, about 150km north of Charters Towers. Photo: Adam Christie.

INUNDATED: Floodwater stops traffic on the Gregory Highway near Mount Fox Road, about 150km north of Charters Towers. Photo: Adam Christie.

Julia Creek recorded its wettest day on record in the 24 hours to 9am Monday, with 127mm falling.

Carsland, north-west of Cloncurry also had record breaking rain with 298mm on March 3, up from the previous highest March rainfall of 207mm on March 5, 1954. It was also their wettest day on record, eclipsing the 223mm which fell on January 9, 1957.

Further south, Trepell Airport received 171.8mm on March 4, beating the previous highest March falls of 75.8mm on March 11, 2011 and the daily record of 96.4mm on January 28, 2012.

Winton Airport also had their wettest day in the 16 years that data had been collected, with 101.8mm falling in the 24 hours until March 5. The previous March and annual record was 100.8mm on March 10, 2016.

Hannah Hacon, of Granada Station about 100km north of Cloncurry recorded 275mm between Thursday and Monday and said the rain was still falling.

Their property was inundated after the Dugald River broke its banks after Corella Park, west of Cloncurry, received 433mm, including 12 inches on Friday night.

“It is unbelievable, we were all getting very, very concerned and sent cattle away on agistment thinking the rain wasn’t going to come in,” Mrs Hacon said.

“My husband grew up here and he said he had not seen a day like the last few days when it just rained so intensely.

WATER WONDERLAND: Aplin's Weir in Townsville was flowing, much to the delight of local anglers.

WATER WONDERLAND: Aplin's Weir in Townsville was flowing, much to the delight of local anglers.

“Up until this widespread fall you’d look over and see a neighbour getting a storm and we weren't, it was not widespread and it was driving everyone nuts.

“It takes the pressure off immensely and we can go back to managing things the way we usually do, with grass.”

Disaster assistance has been made available for local government areas impacted by flooding including Burdekin, Charters Towers, Etheridge, Palm Island Aboriginal Shire and Townsville to aid the recovery.

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