Tropical cyclone could develop in QLD: Rocky weather expert

17th January 2018 6:00 AM
Rockhampton's streets were flooded after Cyclone Debbie hit in April last year. Rockhampton's streets were flooded after Cyclone Debbie hit in April last year. Allan Reinikka ROK070417aflood25

THE monsoon which has been very quiet over the northern Coral Sea is showing signs of developing at the end of the month. 

Although long-term modelling cannot guarantee monsoon development with a chance of a cyclone, there is some signs of a moisture build up in the north Queensland region in late January and early February.

Townsville/Cairns residents are being warned to keep an eye out as the monsoon could develop for the first time this season over Queensland waters.

Rockhampton weather man Mike Griffin said there are "signs that we will see a monsoon developing at the end of the month" in the tropical north.

"Two of the models are showing some development in the Gulf next week," Mr Griffin said.

"It shows the monsoon is starting to develop in the eastern part of Australia.

"It's been fairly dead but indications are that a monsoon trough in the coral sea and in the tropics will start to wind up at the end of the month."

Mr Griffin said if a cyclone does form the normal target areas are Bowen to Cairns/Cooktown.

"We could miss out," he said.

"At this stage it's just too early to say, but watch the north late this month and be alert not alarmed."

Bureau of Meteorology forecaster Lauren Pattie said "it's far too early to say with certainty when and if any cyclone will form".

"We do have a tropical wave - a Madden-Julian Oscillatio (MJO) - that we expect to enter the coral sea late January or early February," Ms Pattie said.

"We see an increased likelihood of a burst of a monsoon.

"That can increase the chances of a tropical cyclone developing."

Rockhampton's forecast is "mostly sunny" for the rest of the week, with temperatures in the low to mid 30s.

Tomorrow will be 31 degrees with the weekend seeing the maximum reach 34.

"There are pretty good conditions this week," Ms Pattie said.

"A southerly change came through yesterday and that has continue to push further north.

"At the moment there is a fairly solid south easterly with 15 to 20km/h winds starting to ease off towards the evening.

"Winds will pick up again by next morning and remain more easterly tomorrow then ease off by Thursday."