Rain tumbles down as cyclone strengthens
UPDATE 2.30PM: Tropical Cyclone Trevor is now forecast to reach Category 3 strength before making landfall over the Cape York Peninsula coast and may then "linger" in the Gulf of Carpentaria, the Bureau of Meteorology has warned.
Nearly 70mm of rain has fallen at Cairns Racecourse since 9am this morning as rain tumbles down across the region.
At Cairns Airport, 36mm has been recorded while Kamerunga has had 42mm and Mourilyan Mill 42mm.
Bureau of Meteorology weather services manager Dr Richard Wardle said Tropical Cyclone Trevor would continue to move west-southwest and was expected to move into the Gulf of Carpentaria by midweek.
"This has the potential to be a protracted event that will see Trevor move slowly towards the northeast coast of Queensland before making landfall late on Tuesday and then moving into the Gulf by Wednesday," he said.
"It is too soon to predict exactly how the system will progress, but models suggest the system may linger in the Gulf until the end of the week."
Northern coastal waters are expected to experience gales from today, with a warning current for gales from Orford Ness to Cape Flattery, including Coen and Lockhart River.
Gales will extend over the northeast on Tuesday and strong gales with destructive winds in excess of 125 km/h are possible over the peninsula as the centre of the system makes landfall late Tuesday.
Abnormally high tides are expected along the coast in the coming days, and heavy rainfall, which may lead to flash flooding, is expected around the peninsula north of Cairns from Tuesday onwards.
Between 9am-2pm Monday
Cairns Racecourse: 69mm
Mourilyan Mill: 42mm
Cairns Airport: 36mm
Flaggy Creek: 33mm
Mona Mona: 31mm
Copperlode Dam: 26mm
UPDATE 12.30PM: The Bureau of Meteorology advises that Tropical Cyclone Trevor continues to itensify while moving towards the Cape York Peninsula.
The system is expected to continue to intensify to a Category 2 before crossing the coast on Tuesday.
A cyclone warning is in place between Orford Ness and Cape Flattery, while the watch zone extends north to Thursday Island and south to Cape Tribulation.
Heavy rain has been falling across the Far North this morning, with 13mm recorded at Cairns Airport since 9am and 11mm at Cairns Racecourse.
Mourilyan Mill has collected 23mm since 9am.
Rain periods and possible storms are forecast for Cairns for most of the week.
UPDATE 10.30AM: King tides are expected in the Far North this week, Cairns Regional Council has advised.
Possible heavy rain from Tropical Cyclone Trevor could combine with the king tides to increase the risk of flooding in low-lying areas.
■ Tuesday, March 19: 3.43m at 8.14am.
■ Wednesday, March 20: 3.46m at 8.52am.
■ Thursday, March 21: 3.38m at 9.27am.
Residents are urged to avoid parking cars in low-lying tidal areas and never drive through floodwaters.
E ARLIER: Cyclone Trevor has formed in the northern Coral Sea.
The Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) said the category one cyclone formed about 4am, with a warning zone between Orford Ness and Cape Flattery, including Coen and Lockhart River.
A watch zone is in place from Thursday Island to Cape Tribulation, including Cooktown.
BOM reports that at 7am, the cyclone was about 500km north of Cairns and 285km east of Lockhart River.
"Tropical Cyclone Trevor is expected to move in a west-southwest direction towards the Cape York Peninsula coast. It is expected to continue to intensify, and should reach category 2 before crossing the eastern Cape York Peninsula coast later on Tuesday," BOM's cyclone warning reads.
Gales with gusts of wind more than 90km/h are expected to develop between Cape Grenville and Cape Flattery tonight.
Heavy rainfall is also expected across the north.
"People between Cape Grenville and Cape Flattery, including Lockhart River and Coen, should immediately commence or continue preparations, especially securing boats and property, using available daylight hours," BOM's cyclone warning says.
"People elsewhere between the Torres Strait Islands and Cape Tribulation, including Cooktown should consider what action they will need to take if the cyclone threat increases, and listen to the next advice at 8am AEST."
The regional harbour master has issued a yellow alert for the Port of Cape Flattery, warning vessel operators to take all necessary precautions. Vessel operators and owners in the Port of Cooktown have been advised to review their safety plans and address any outstanding matters.