Flood watch issued as BOM keeps eye on cyclone risk


Karlie Brady


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The Douglas Shire is in for a wet weekend as the Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) issues a Flood Watch for areas between Cooktown and Ingham.

The Bureau will also be keeping a close eye on a potential tropical low developing off the North Tropical Coast, with a very slight chance it could develop further into a cyclone.

Meteorologist Dean Narramore said moist onshore winds combined with a deepening surface trough will see a return of heavy rain and storms from Cooktown to Ingham this weekend and into early next week.

There is still some uncertainty on exactly where the heaviest rainfall will occur, with different forecast models showing different scenarios at play for the development of the low.

“One forecast model has a slight risk of a cyclone developing Sunday or Monday,” Mr Narramore said.

“Though this scenario is an outlier and seems unlikely at this stage, we will be watching it closely this weekend.”

The Bureau says minor to moderate flooding is possible from late Sunday with falls of 150mm to 250mm likely for parts of the Far North.

Heavy rainfall associated with the developing low is forecast between Cooktown and Cairns during Sunday. The risk of heavy rainfall will extend southwards to Ingham overnight Sunday and during Monday.

Heavy rainfall has fallen over the majority of catchments within the Flood Watch area over the last two weeks meaning rivers will respond relatively quickly to further rainfall.

Minor to moderate flooding is possible in the Flood Watch area, particularly within the catchments where flooding has recently occurred.

Localised flooding and disruption to transport routes are possible within the Flood Watch area from Sunday.

Catchments likely to be affected include:

  • Daintree River
  • Mossman River
  • Endeavour River
  • Barron River
  • Mulgrave and Russell Rivers
  • Johnstone River
  • Tully River
  • Murray River
  • Herbert River

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