Experts on cyclone watch for Qld as low forms in coral sea
THE Bureau of Meteorology is rating as moderate the chance of a cyclone forming in the Coral Sea next week and will closely watch conditions over the coming days.
While sea surface temperatures were conducive to the system forming, winds were not at a level for a low-pressure system to develop further.
Forecaster Alex Majchrowski said at present the BOM rated the system at between a 20-50 per cent chance of becoming cyclonic.
However, if it did the likelihood was that it would move westward towards the Queensland coast.
Mr Majchrowski said there was not sufficient instability at present to activate the system.
He said it would require a burst of monsoonal activity through Sunday and onwards to bring the system to life.
Cyclone Debbie in 2017 was the last to hit the Queensland coast, coming ashore at Airlie Beach and causing widescale destruction in the Whitsunday region with sustained winds of 195km/h and maximum gusts to 263km/h.
It declined in strength to a tropical low as it moved inland but turned south smashing into the Sunshine Coast with 100km/h wind and dumping across southeast Queensland large quantities of rain from 150mm to more than 600mm in places that closed schools and caused widespread damage.
The BOM was also watching a low-pressure system that was part of a trough that extended across the continent and was expected to form a Category 3 Cyclone off the northern Western Australia coast in the coming days.
A Category 3 system was rated as very destructive with winds from 165kp/h to 224kp/h capable of causing roof and structural damage.
Category 1 systems have winds from 90km/h to 125km/h and can damage trees and caravans.
Category 2 cyclones have destructive winds from 125-164km/h and were likely to cause minor house damage and significant damage to signage, trees and caravans.
Category 4 cyclones could cause significant roofing loss and structural damage, blow away caravans and generate dangerous airborne debris with winds from 225-279km/h.
Category 5 cyclones were considered extremely dangerous with winds over 280km/h.