It’s official – Tropical Cyclone Nora has formed off the Northern Territory northeast coast.
Areas affected at the moment are Elcho Island to Cape Shield, including Nhulunbuy and Cape Keerweer to Thursday Island, including Weipa and the watch zone goes from the NT/Qld Border to Cape Keerweer.
The cyclone is a Category 1 – the lowest category - sustained winds near the centre of 65 kilometres per hour with wind gusts to 95 kilometres per hour.
The eye of the cyclone is 255 kilometres north of Nhulunbuy and 640 kilometres west northwest of Weipa and it is slow moving but expected to intensify as it moves southeast Friday heading towards the Gulf of Carpentaria.
Tropical Cyclone Nora is currently moving eastwards but will begin a more southeasterly path during today and Saturday into the Gulf of Carpentaria.
The system is expected to reach Category 2 during today and reach Category 3 during Saturday.
By Sunday, the Tropical Cyclone will most likely be located over the southern Gulf of Carpentaria.
A coastal crossing anywhere along the western Cape York Peninsula south of Weipa during Saturday or Sunday is possible.
Gales with gusts to 110 kilometres per hour may develop in coastal areas between Thursday Island and Cape Keerweer, including Weipa, Friday night.
Gales may extend south between Cape Keerweer and the NT/Qld Border, including Mornington Island, on Saturday.
Destructive winds with gusts to 140 kilometres per hour may develop in coastal areas between Thursday Island and Cape Keerweer, including Weipa, during Saturday if the Tropical Cyclone takes a more easterly track than forecast.
Heavy rainfall is forecast about Torres Strait and Cape York Peninsula in the coming days and may extend to the Gulf Country of Queensland late Saturday and into Sunday, depending on the track of the Tropical Cyclone. Heavy rainfall could potentially lead to flash flooding in some areas.
The weather system could also bring good rain to the Mount Isa region.
As the system moves closer to the eastern Gulf of Carpentaria coast, abnormally high tides may develop in areas between Torres Strait and Karumba. Large waves will become possible about foreshore areas.
Mornington Shire Council is warning residents to ensure home cyclone kits are ready.
Carpentaria Shire Council is also warning residents.
“Please be aware that Council - through the Local Disaster Committee, are currently working with authorities in continuing to monitoring the current weather situation in the gulf,” the Council said.
“Residents are reminded that as precautionary measure - assess your property and remove and/or secure any loose items that may be affected by strong winds.”