Tropical Cyclone Ita has weakened into a Category 1 system but is still packing a punch as it moves southeast along the tropical Queensland coast bringing large amounts of rain and damaging winds.
At 10am EST, the system was located just to the northeast of Townsville, tracking southeast likely affecting Mackay later today before passing close to Yeppoon tomorrow morning.
Ita has been dumping extremely heavy rain in its path, with widespread falls of 100 to 200mm with some places seeing as much as 200 to 400mm. Ingham collected 245mm and Townsville 177mm in the 24 hours to 9am today, the towns' biggest rain since 2009. For Ingham, this was also the heaviest April fall in 45 years of records. Cardwell recorded a massive 307mm, its wettest April day since 1911.
While winds have not been as strong as yesterday, they have still been damaging in parts with gusts reaching 96km/h at Lucinda Point early this morning, 106km/h at Cape Ferguson and 93km/h at Townsville.
The system has also been accompanied by very large waves reaching close to seven metres, leading to coastal flooding and inundation.
As Ita continues to track down the QLD coast, it is expected to maintain tropical cyclone strength before moving offshore tomorrow. However, while the system remains near the coast, further wild weather is likely. Falls in the order of 100 to 200mm are expected with isolated falls of up to 400mm, while wind gusts reaching 110km/h are also likely. Large waves and abnormally high tides are also likely to persist.
Conditions will ease significantly from Tuesday as Ita transitions into a powerful extra-tropical system and speeds off towards New Zealand.
© Weatherzone 2014
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