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Two potential tropical cyclones bear down on Northern QLD

James Casey, Saturday March 8, 2014 - 14:55 EDT

Tropical lows in the Gulf of Carpentaria and Coral Sea could intensify into tropical cyclones tomorrow morning before possibly making landfall on Monday morning.

Two cyclone watches were issued on Friday as two separate tropical lows approach the Peninsula/Gulf District and North Tropical Coast.

Tropical Low 1, the one in the Gulf, is tracking in a southeasterly direction. It is expected to intensify into a Category 1 Tropical Cyclone on Sunday morning before intensifying again into a Category 2 cyclone just before making landfall between Thursday Island and Karumba around Monday morning.

Strong winds, heavy rain and thunderstorms are likely to impact to the north of the system. Wind speeds are expected to become destructive with the risk of gusts over 130km/h gusts. Heavy falls over 100mm are also a risk creating the potential for flooding. Winds will whip up 3-4 metres of swell and a large storm surge potentially causing considerable damage to the coastal fringe.

The other one in the Coral Sea, Tropical Low 2, is tracking in a south-southwesterly direction. Similar to Tropical Low 1, it is expected to intensify into a Category 1 Tropical Cyclone on Sunday and make landfall on overnight on Sunday into Monday between St Lawrence and Cardwell.

Heavy rainfall looks to be the most prominent feature with falls over 300mm a risk. There are indications that this rainfall could be the highest daily rainfall in 15-40 years for some places if it occurs between about Townsville, Charters Towers, Mackay and Collinsville. Flash flooding is likely so be diligent and prepare for the worst of the conditions. Winds are expected to reach 100km/h with gusts up to 120km/h. Thunderstorms are likely to be embedded in the rain and wind.

Residents are advised to stay calm, be alert, be prepared and listen to local radio and TV for further information. You can also stay up to date with all the latest cyclone warnings at http://www.weatherzone.com.au/charts/tropicalcyclone.jsp

- Weatherzone

© Weatherzone 2014

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