BOM says Queensland may see first cyclone of season, to be named AlfredBy Kym Agius, Lucy Murray and staff, Friday February 17, 2017 - 18:09 EDT
There is a high chance a cyclone will form in Queensland's Gulf of Carpentaria this weekend, the Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) has warned.
A tropical low moved from Gulf waters onto land during Friday morning, which saw the BOM downgrade its warning to a watch.
The tropical low is expected to move back over water later on Saturday and there is a more than 50 per cent chance it develop into a tropical cyclone on Sunday.
It is possible the system may reach category two intensity if it remains over water.
"It would be the first cyclone of the season," BOM forecaster Janine Yusa said.
"If it develops it will be called Alfred."
A cyclone watch zone for the tropical low stretches from the NT's Port McArthur to Queensland's Burketown.
Gulf communities were being told to prepare for winds of more than 125kph, heavy rain and large waves on Saturday.
"Today, the Gulf coast could get 50mm to 100mm quite easily, isolated heavy falls of up to 300mm or more over the islands," Ms Yusa said.
"Over the weekend, some of that rain could move inland to places like Doomadgee and Burketown."
Natasha Francis, a teacher on Mornington Island, said residents were busy preparing for the storm "as well as ensuring we have something to teach once this passes in a few days".
"[I] anticipate we will probably lose power over the weekend and internet access so everyone is hard at work today," she said.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk met with emergency authorities this afternoon to discuss the situation.
© ABC 2017
More breaking news
Tropical Cyclone Debbie has intensified to category four and is expected to hit the north Queensland coast on Tuesday morning, the Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) has warned.
After spending three days brewing over the Coral Sea, Severe Tropical Cyclone Debbie will make landfall tomorrow.
Evacuation centres are designed to be a safe place to wait out a cyclone â?? not be a home away from home.