The Return Of T.C.Nathan
Four days ago tropical cyclone Nathan (category 2) threatened the coast of far north Queensland. Although the cyclone made a u turn before hitting land it did cause extensive damage and flooding . It went back to the Coral Sea and weakened to Category 1. It has made another u turn and has intensified to a Category 3 storm. It is expected to intensify further to a Category 4 storm before crossing the coast about 250km north of Cairns, probably early Friday morning. The forecast is for Cairns to receive up to 500mm (20 inches) of rain on Thur, Fri, Sat and Sun.
Details of Severe Tropical Cyclone Nathan at 7:00 pm EST:
Intensity: Category 3, sustained winds near the centre of 130 kilometres per hour with wind gusts to 185 kilometres per hour.
Location: within 20 kilometres of 14.9 degrees South 149.0 degrees East, estimated to be 405 kilometres east of Cooktown and 410 kilometres northeast of Cairns.
Movement: west northwest at 5 kilometres per hour.
Severe Tropical Cyclone Nathan has adopted a westwards track during today and should continue this general motion with a very slight increase in forward speed. The system is small in size, but the core is likely to intensify up until landfall on the north Queensland coast, most likely between Cape Melville and Port Douglas during Friday morning.
GALES with gusts to 110 km/h currently extend out to approximately 150 kilometres from the centre of the cyclone. GALES may develop about coastal and island communities between Cape Melville and Innisfail on Thursday night before possibly extending north to Lockhart River and over adjacent inland areas from the coast, including Palmerville and Laura on Friday.
DESTRUCTIVE winds extend out to about 70 kilometres from the centre of the cyclone and may begin to affect coastal and island communities between Cape Melville and Cairns overnight Thursday or during Friday morning, depending on the track the cyclone takes. Maximum wind gusts close to the centre are likely to reach 260 kilometres per hour as the cyclone makes landfall.
Coastal residents between Cape Melville and Innisfail are specifically warned of the dangerous storm tide that could occur as the cyclone crosses the coast. The sea is likely to rise steadily up to a level well above the normal tide, with damaging waves and flooding of some low-lying areas, which could also extend some way inland. People living in areas likely to be affected by this flooding should take measures to protect their property as much as possible and be prepared to follow instructions regarding evacuation of the area if advised to do so by the authorities.
Heavy rainfall, which may lead to flash flooding, may develop late Thursday but will most likely occur during Friday as the cyclone crosses the coast.