Higgins issues cyclone watch for North Queensland coast
HIGGINS Storm Chasing has issued a tropical low and tropical cyclone watch for the Coral Sea and Queensland coast.
"At 11am on Tuesday a monsoon trough lies across Cape York Peninsula which is producing heavy rain and thunderstorms. Weipa has recorded over 200mm during the past 30hrs," Higgins posted.
"During Wednesday a Monsoon Low is forecast to develop along the trough to the North East of Cairns in the Coral Sea. On Thursday the system is expected to detach from the monsoon trough and further intensify into a Tropical Low to be located East North East of Cairns and Townsville."
Higgins said global model data suggested there was "a moderate risk" for the system to develop into a Tropical Cyclone on Friday while tracking west towards the north Queensland coast. The risk for tropical cyclone development on Saturday increases to High.
"It is unclear at this stage if the system will track close enough to cause damaging impacts to the coast however people along the Central and North QLD coasts from Mackay to Cooktown should closely monitor further forecast updates. Have your cyclone emergency kits ready and a plan in place," Higgins said.
The Bureau of Meteorology's Tropical Cyclone Outlook for the Coral Sea was issued at 2.30pm on Monday, saying the likelihood of a tropical cyclone in the eastern region was 'moderate' on Thursday.
"A strengthening monsoon flow will develop in the northwest Coral Sea from mid-week, leading to an increase in the risk of tropical cyclone potential later in the week," the Bureau's outlook reads.
"If a tropical cyclone was to form in the northwest Coral Sea, it would move east-southeast, away from the Queensland coast."