Time to be prepared
Consensus builds on likelihood of cyclone developing
ALL MAJOR computer models apart from one predict a cyclone will develop in the Coral Sea, according to Mackay and District Weather Updates.
The low pressure system south-east of Papua New Guinea is expected to develop into a cyclone by Saturday and drift south-west.
Bureau of Meteorology forecaster Dean Marramore said while the low pressure system was likely to intensify, it was hard to predict which direction it would move.
“Some models see it moving toward Queensland and others further south, but a majority have it tracking west,” he said.
“How strong it will be and where it hits is uncertain at this stage.”
Fellow BOM forecaster Rick Threlfall warned that everyone should be prepared.
“We are well into cyclone season now and people need to look at forecasts and keep cyclone plans in place,” he said.
Mr Threlfall conceded pre-season predictions of an “above average” cyclone season had not come to pass.
“It has been a lot quieter than expected and people are scratching their heads and wondering why it played out that way with La Nina-like conditions around,” he said.
“So many things go into forming cyclones that there is probably some other aspect behind it that would stop cyclones from forming.”
In the meantime, the Whitsunday region is expected to be in for substantial rainfall for the rest of the week, with an 80–90% chance of showers every day from Thursday through to the weekend.
People are encouraged to regularly check the Tropical Cyclone Outlook for the Coral Sea on the BOM website.
CYCLONE WATCH: A low pressure system in the Coral Sea is expected to develop into a cyclone by Saturday. INSET: Vehicles navigate around a fallen powerline over Shute Harbour Rd after cyclone Ului hit.