A tropical low that was promising to bring much needed rain to drought-stricken north Queensland is now rapidly intensifying into a cyclone.
While the weather system is still classified as a low, the Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) issued their first official cyclone warning this afternoon. They advised the low is currently situated approximately 610km east of Cairns and 600km northeast of Townsville. It is making it’s way west towards the coast, intensifying as it goes. If it tips over into cyclone territory, the name it will go by is “Debbie”.
Estimates are, it will cross somewhere between Cairns and Townsville over the weekend and may have reached Category 3 by the time it hits the coast.
Townsville residents aren’t yet seeing much of the rain but have already started making preparations. Supermarket shelves are clearing as people stock up in readiness. Hopes are that the weather system will bring rain with minimal destruction.
— Gina Rushton (@ginarush) March 26, 2017
North Queenslanders have been desperate to break their run of uneventful rainy seasons. Townsville residents have been getting by on increasingly tight water restrictions as their dams hit record lows. And drought declaration has been spreading through the state, bringing tough times, particularly for farmers.
While a generous downpour would be welcome, it is vital to be prepared for the potential hazards of a cyclone. Residents are advised to keep an eye on the updates and get their yards and houses cyclone-ready. BOM have a complete guide with a preparation checklist and links to their latest updates.