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Cyclone potential builds off north Qld

By Jessica Nairn, Monday March 4, 2013 - 10:07 EDT

The weather bureau says there is a possibility of a cyclone developing in the Coral Sea off north Queensland by the end of the week.

A low-pressure system caused drenching rain in Townsville and the Mackay region over the weekend.

The bureau says more than 600 lightning strikes were recorded during the storm.

More than 65 millimetres of rain fell at Magnetic Island and 60mm at the Townsville airport.

Munbura, just north of Sarina, topped the state's rainfall charts, recording 306mm in 24 hours.

Several roads in the region, including the Peak Downs Highway, were closed overnight and residents in low-lying areas of east and north Mackay had minor flooding.

Last night, a canegrower rescued a woman trapped in rising floodwaters north of Mackay.

Forecaster Doug Fraser says if a cyclone forms it should move away from the coast.

"We are also looking at the winds freshening up with the firm ridge building along the coastline with the monsoonal trough increasing up to the north," he said.

"Fairly active conditions and increasing winds over the next few days, but the good news is the computer models that are generating a cyclone are moving it away from the coastline as well."


© ABC 2013

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