Weather News

Tropical Cyclone Kimi downgraded to a tropical low but could reform in the coming week

By Stephanie Zillman and staff, Tuesday January 19, 2021 - 20:03 EDT
ABC licensed image
The eye of Ex-Tropical Cyclone Kimi seen from the air after it had been downgraded to a tropical low. - ABC licensed

Tropical Cyclone Kimi has been downgraded to a tropical low and is no longer expected to cross the north Queensland coast but the system could reform in the coming week, the Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) has warned.

The BOM said the potential for more heavy rain and the cyclone forming again was possible.

Meteorologist David Grant said there could be a "renewed burst" from the monsoon into next week.

"There are early indications that we may see a renewed burst of the monsoon come across Far North Queensland and into the Coral Sea over the course of this weekend and into next week," he said.

"So be mindful that Mother Nature hasn't quite turned the tap off yet.

"There could be rainfall around the state's far north and the east in the coming week, and we may be talking about cyclones once again sometime in the next week or two."

The system intensified to a category two storm yesterday but weakened overnight.

Destructive winds are no longer expected but there is still the potential for major flooding in coastal areas between Innisfail and Bowen today and tomorrow.

The BOM yesterday described the system as "erratic" and "unusually unpredictable" as it changed direction a number of times, with forecasters saying they were unable to pinpoint where it would track.

As the cyclone moved south, .

"The system's movement has been erratic, however, due to its recent movement towards the south-southeast, a coastal crossing between Hinchinbrook Island and Townsville tonight or early tomorrow is now unlikely," the BOM said in an overnight update.

The Townsville Airport has reopened after closing for a short time this morning with the tropical low no longer a risk to aviation.

The BOM had expected the cyclone to reach a category two system, potentially crossing the coast, and causing destructive winds with gusts of up to 150 kilometres per hour and heavy rainfall.

An Emergency Alert for Palm Island residents has now been cancelled.

Residents of towns from Innisfail to Ayr, including Lucinda, Palm Island and Townsville were all in the warning zone.

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said additional police and SES members had been deployed to the region, along with two winch-helicopters ? one based in Cairns, and another in Townsville on standby.

There are minor to moderate flood warnings in place for coastal catchments between Cairns and Ayr.

The low is expected to remain well off the coast today, before it begins tracking north-northwest and further weaken this afternoon.

Some of the highest 24-hour rainfall totals were recorded around Innisfail, with 158 millimetres in the gauge at the wharf.


© ABC 2021

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