Cyclone to form off North Qld

Cyclone season 2018-19 remains active


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It's the calm before the storm around Skardon River, north of Weipa, and other areas of the Cape and Gulf with Tropical Cyclone Trevor expected to form tomorrow.

It's the calm before the storm around Skardon River, north of Weipa, and other areas of the Cape and Gulf with Tropical Cyclone Trevor expected to form tomorrow.

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Another cyclone is expected to form in waters off North Queensland on Monday, making it the fourth of the season.

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THE fourth cyclone of the season is expected to form in waters off North Queensland tomorrow and cross the Cape York Peninsula mid-week.

The system, which will be named Tropical Cyclone Trevor, has a high chance of forming into a cyclone late on Monday.

The slow-moving tropical low was situated 445 kilometres east northeast of Lockhart River and 700 kilometres north of Cairns at 4pm today.

The Bureau of Meteorology said the low was expected to track in a general west-southwest direction, towards the Far North Queensland coast over the next couple of days.

It is likely to form into a category one cyclone late tomorrow, before intensifying into a category two as it moves closer to the coast.

BoM Meteorologist Jonty Hall said there was still a fair amount of uncertainty surrounding the system.

The BoM tracking map shows the low will likely make landfall near the Lockhart River late on Tuesday or on Wednesday, but Mr Hall said the system was slow moving and may hover over water and intensify.

The BoM track map as of 4pm Sunday.

The BoM track map as of 4pm Sunday.

"There is increasing uncertainty about the track of the potential cyclone from Wednesday onwards," Mr Hall said.

"One thing is that it is not likely to come too far south, so we are not looking at the potential for particularly heavy rainfall around the Townsville area or the Flinders River areas that got impacted by the big floods.

"There are some models that show that as it approaches the coast it becomes slow moving near the east coast, the longer it has over water the environment is really supportive of intensification.

"The most likely scenario is that it will continue to move across the Cape York Peninsula and out into the Gulf where it could redevelop toward the Queensland NT border."

Wind gusts in excess of 125km/h may occur on the Cape Peninsula coast with heavy rainfall which may lead to flash flooding forecast to develop in the Far North over the next couple of days.

Abnormally high ties are also expected along the Far North coast.

Mr Hall said he would expect heavy rain to develop around the east coast north of Cairns, with the heavier rainfall tomorrow in the Daintree and Cooktown areas.

Tropical Cyclone Trevor will be the fourth cyclone of the season to form in northern Queensland waters.

The first was Cyclone Owen, which formed on December 2 and crossed the coast as a low pressure system north of Cairns before reforming in the Gulf.

It tracked back and crossed near Kowanyama as a category weak category three system on December 15.

Ex-cyclone Owen was downgraded to a low pressure system shortly after making landfall and brought widespread rain to areas of the northern coast.

The town of Halifax near Ingham was dumped with a record-breaking 681mm in just 24 hours, making it the wettest December day anywhere in Australia on record.

Tropical Cyclone Penny rapidly formed in Gulf waters early on January 1, and made landfall near Weipa as a category one storm about 4pm that day.

But the greatest damage came from an active, slow-moving monsoon trough that produced extremely heavy rainfall in tropical Queensland from late January to early February.

The monsoon caused widespread flooding in Townsville and north west Queensland, where the drought stricken towns on Richmond, Winton, Julia Creek and Hughenden and surrounds were inundated. The Gulf Country was also impacted as the floodwater headed back out to sea.

At least 500,000 head of cattle were lost in the north west flood, while critical infrastructure was also destroyed.

Townsville Airport recorded 1250mm of rain in the 10 days to February 6, while Bluewater had over two metres in 12 days.

Out west, Julia Creek received 510.2 mm in one week to February 6 and Richmond recorded almost 498.4mm in the week to February 7.

After the monsoon, the weather system moved back out to the Coral Sea where it formed into Tropical Cyclone Oma in waters off Cardwell.

Cyclone Oma moved south down the coast, causing widespread panic in Brisbane and on the Sunshine and Gold Coasts, but other than producing large swells and some rainfall, failed to materialise before it moved away from the coast and was downgraded.

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