Queenslanders have been warned to prepare for a tropical cyclone to make landfall in the state’s far north early on Monday.
A low pressure system moving towards the coast formed into Tropical Cyclone Tiffany on Sunday afternoon, the Bureau of Meteorology confirmed.
Earlier predictions had the system making landfall about 4am on Monday but the bureau said that would depend whether it hit north or south of Cape Melville, which is more than 80km further east than the coastline to its north.
The cyclone is forecast to cross Cape York Peninsula before moving into the Gulf of Carpentaria.
Warnings are in place for several areas including Cape Grenville to Cape Tribulation, including Lockhart River and Cooktown.
Residents from Kowanyama to Mapoon including Weipa are in the watch area, and should consider what action they will need to take if the cyclone threat increases.
Senior meteorologist Dean Narramore said the bureau was closely monitoring the cyclone.
“From tomorrow, people in far north Queensland communities will start seeing and feeling the effects of Tropical Cyclone Tiffany as it comes closer to the coast, which means an increased risk of flooding and some localised damage in these regions,’ Mr Narramore said.
“Tropical cyclones can intensify very quickly, and shift direction, so we will be updating our warnings and advice to the community and our emergency services colleagues as this system progresses.”
“We are expecting heavy rainfall and damaging winds as a result of this system, so regardless of whether it is a tropical low or a tropical cyclone, there is still an increased risk of flooding and some localised damage in the region,” Mr Narramore said.
Mr Narramore warned tropical system could intensify very quickly and shift direction, saying the bureau would issue regular updates.
The cyclone comes after the Fraser Coast region, about 1500km south, saw floodwaters peak above 10m this weekend, amid the heaviest rainfall ever recorded.
Residents were sent an emergency text message telling them to get to higher ground “immediately”.
Mount Joseph, 200km north-west of Brisbane, recorded 451mm of rain, the highest daily total in more 100 years, Weatherzone, said.
Some areas got as much as five times their monthly average rain.
A 22-year-old Sunshine Coast man died when he drove into floodwaters and a search is continuing for a 14-year-old girl who went missing near Gympie.
Floodwaters are expected to peak at 10.5 metres at Maryborough this evening, and 80 homes are in the danger zone.