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Gulf of Carpentaria braces for potential cyclone

Saturday January 19, 2013 - 08:52 EDT

A cyclone watch has been issued for communities along the eastern coast of Queensland's Gulf of Carpentaria.

The Bureau of Meteorology says a developing tropical low may intensify into a cyclone over the next two days, bringing gale-force winds and heavy rain to communities between Mornington West and Aurukun.

About 5:20am AEST, the system was estimated to be 235 kilometres west of Mornington Island and moving west at 16 kilometres per hour.

Senior forecaster Peter Otto says there is a high chance the system will develop into a cyclone tomorrow or on Monday.

"We have a severe weather warning out for the potential for heavy rainfall through that region and also some stronger winds," he said.

He said heavy rain and flash flooding is also expected around the east coast including Cooktown, Cairns, Innisfail and Cardwell.

"We've got the monsoon trough reaching across towards the north tropical coast area, and so we've got a severe weather warning out for very heavy rainfall for the north tropical coast area as well," he said.


© ABC 2013

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