Owen to skip Douglas Shire but severe storms on the horizon
Tropical Cyclone Owen is expected to travel south of Cairns but residents of the Douglas Shire can expect some extreme weather nonetheless.
Meteorologist Nicholas Shera said by the time Owen reaches the eastern coast of Cape York and the Coral Sea tomorrow evening, the system would no longer be a cyclone.
“It looks like might get to tropical low status and not as a cyclone,” Mr Shera said.
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“As cyclones go over land they lose a lot of energy and always break down, we will still have wild weather and wind impacting the region but not as strong as it would be over the water.”
Current models show Cyclone Owen tracking southwest across Queensland with the path missing the Douglas region and meeting the sea between Cairns and Townsville.
However, Mr Shera said the system will still bring some rain and wind to the Douglas Shire region.
“There is still a lot of activity forecast to get to that area,” he said.
“It’s certainty possible there will still be wind and rain and the costal waters are expected to get gales that are quite formidable.
“We also have a flood watch for very heavy rainfall for all of the catchments in Northern Queensland from the gulf to the cape.”
The Daintree and Mossman Rivers are included in the flood warning with the region’s heavy rainfall set to continue.
“The amount of rain forecast in the area is somewhere between 80 and 150 millimetres with isolated falls up to 250 millimetres depending on the movement of the cyclone,” Mr Shera said.
Douglas Shire Council has provided free sandbagging facilities in Mossman and Port Douglas to help residents prepare for the coming storms.
Sand and sand bags are available at the Port Douglas Sports Complex (AFL oval) car park on Wharf Street and the Mossman SES Shed, behind the Council administration building on Front Street, Mossman.
Douglas Shire Mayor Julia Leu said residents should prepare for severe storms despite not being in the cyclone’s direct path.
“Cyclone Owen will be a powerful system and even if Douglas remains on the outer edge, there is still likely to be impacts from strong to very strong northerly winds, thunderstorms and heavy rainfall,” she said.
“The cyclone could go anywhere within the outer lines of the Bureau of Meteorology’s forecast track and the Douglas Local Disaster Management Group will be monitoring this closely.
“We are urging everyone to remain alert, stay up to date and consider what actions you may need to take if the forecast track brings the system closer to Douglas Shire.”
Residents can stay up-to-date with the latest disaster management plans on the Douglas Dashboard and see weather forecasts on the Bureau of Meteorology website.
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