Australia’s east coast is put on cyclone watch as extreme weather system intensifies leaving streets flooded and highways gridlocked as panicked residents try to flee – here’s how long you have before it hits
- A cyclone has been forecast for north Queensland on Tuesday afternoon
- Tropical low south of Cairns triggered urgent warning, 100km winds also tipped
- Residents have been advised to ‘take action’ ahead of the extreme conditions
- Flash and river flooding also predicted by experts from Bureau of Meteorology
Residents are on cyclone watch as wild weather has already left streets flooded and highways gridlocked as concerned residents look to flee north Queensland in droves.
A tropical low approximately 215km east of Innisfail, south of Cairns, has triggered an urgent warning, with ferocious winds of up to 100km/h predicted on Tuesday afternoon.
Areas expected to hardest hit include coastal and island locations between Cape Flattery and Lucinda, including Port Douglas and Innisfail, according to the Cairns Post.
‘People in these areas should consider what action they will need to take if the cyclone threat increases,’ the Bureau of Meteorology said in a statement.
Far North Queensland (pictured above) is on cyclone watch as a tropical low threatens the coast of Cairns
Residents and guests in Port Douglas (pictured above) have been warned to expect cyclone conditions on Tuesday (stock image)
Motorists have been also been advised to avoid parking their cars in low-lying tidal areas and to not drive through floodwaters.
Rainfall of up to 150mm has also been predicted in some areas, with Bureau of Meteorology expert Jackson Browne revealing flash and river flooding is likely over the next 48 hours.
‘Soils and catchments are already saturated after weeks of rain on the north tropical coast,’ he said. ‘Flooding could extend as far south as Mackay as the low strengthens.’
Forecast tracking have predicted the cyclone could reach a dangerous Category 2 by Wednesday.
‘Gales are possible as the system reaches cyclone strength. Heavy rainfall is also likely,’ the forecast confirmed.
On Monday morning, commuters endured lengthy delays on the Captain Cook Highway driving south towards Cairns.
A number of trees fell across the Gillies Range Rd at Gadgarra in Queensland’s Tablelands Region, resulting in further delays after traffic was reduced to one lane.
Meteorologist Michael Gray revealed the extreme weather in far north Queensland was due to the development of a monsoon trough as well as a reach of high pressure along the east coast.
The Queensland Bureau of Meterology (pictured above) showing a tropical low developing off the north tropical coast
Experts are also predicting rainfall of up to 150mm in some areas as well as flash flooding (stock image)
‘Since 9am on Saturday, we have seen rainfall totals up around 100mm around the Proserpine River and over 50mm through large parts of an area from about Mackay up towards Cairns,’ he told the Courier Mail.
‘We will still see fairly significant rainfall (from Mackay to Cairns) that will continue at least to Wednesday… or possibly through to later in the week.’
Across the rest of the eastern states of Australia, the forecast for Monday is partly cloudy and mostly sunny, with a slight chance of a shower tonight in Brisbane.
A tropical cyclone likely (pictured above) to likely to form around north Queensland on Tuesday
Huge swells are also predicted as the state of Queensland braces itself for some wild weather on Tuesday (stock image)
FIVE DAY WEATHER IN YOUR CITY
MONDAY: Min 20. Max 31. Mostly sunny.
TUESDAY: Min 19. Max 25. Possible shower.
WEDNESDAY: Min 17. Max 23. Shower or two.
THURSDAY: Min 17. Max 25. Partly cloudy
FRIDAY: Min 16. Max 25. Partly cloudy.
MONDAY: Min 23. Max 32. Partly cloudy.
TUESDAY: Min 23. Max 34. Possible shower.
WEDNESDAY: Min 23. Max 29. Shower or two.
THURSDAY: Min 21. Max 28. Possible shower.
FRIDAY: Min 19. Max 28. Partly cloudy.
MONDAY: Min 14. Max 26. Partly cloudy.
TUESDAY: Min 13. Max 24. Partly cloudy.
WEDNESDAY: Min 12. Max 25. Mostly sunny.
THURSDAY: Min 12. Max 26. Sunny.
FRIDAY: Min 15. Max 29. Partly cloudy.
MONDAY: Min 13. Max 31. Sunny.
TUESDAY: Min 13. Max 25. Partly cloudy.
WEDNESDAY: Min 10. Max 24. Partly cloudy.
THURSDAY: Min 9. Max 27. Sunny
FRIDAY: Min 11. Max 27. Partly sunny.
MONDAY: Min 15. Max 21. Partly cloudy.
TUESDAY: Min 12. Max 17. Cloudy.
WEDNESDAY: Min 12. Max 18. Partly cloudy.
THURSDAY: Min 12. Max 20. Cloudy.
FRIDAY: Min 15. Max 20. Cloudy.
MONDAY: Min 17. Max 28. Partly cloudy.
TUESDAY: Min 17. Max 27. Partly cloudy.
WEDNESDAY: Min 19. Max 27. Partly cloudy.
THURSDAY: Min 20. Max 28. Possible storms.
FRIDAY: Min 19. Max 27. Cloudy.
MONDAY: Min 14. Max 22. Showers easing.
TUESDAY: Min 9. Max 16. Windy. Cloudy.
WEDNESDAY: Min 9. Max 19. Cloudy.
THURSDAY: Min 13. Max 21. Cloudy.
FRIDAY: Min 11. Max 18. Partly cloudy.
MONDAY: Min 25. Max 33. Partly cloudy.
TUESDAY: Min 25. Max 32. Partly cloudy.
WEDNESDAY: Min 25. Max 32. Partly cloudy.
THURSDAY: Min 26. Max 33. Partly cloudy.
FRIDAY: Min 26. Max 33. Partly cloudy.
Source: Bureau of Meteorology