Chance of second landfall from Tropical Cyclone Penny
Tropical Cyclone Penny is strengthening over the Coral Sea and while its future is uncertain, a second landfall over eastern Queensland could be on the cards early next week.
Penny became Australia's second tropical cyclone of the season when it formed in the Gulf of Carpentaria on Tuesday, January 1st. The system crossed the west coast of Cape York Peninsula on the same afternoon and was downgraded to a tropical low as it moved over land.
Cyclone Penny has since traversed the Peninsula and moved over the warm water of the northern Coral Sea, allowing it to redevelop into a category one tropical cyclone.
Tropical Cyclone Penny was located about 760km to the east northeast of Cooktown at 10am EST on Thursday, moving towards the east southeast and intensifying.
Penny is expected to reach category two strength by Friday before doing a u-turn and moving back towards Queensland from the weekend.
At this stage, Tropical Cyclone Penny is likely to weaken below cyclone intensity as it moves back towards Queensland. However, there is a fair degree of model uncertainty about what will happen early next week, regarding Penny's location and strength.
Image: One possible location of Tropical Cyclone Penny on Monday 7th January, according to the ECMWF HRES computer model. Other models show different positions and intensities for this system.
Some computer models suggest that it may approach the central coast of Queensland around Monday or Tuesday, possibly as a tropical cyclone. Other models keep the system well off the coast during the first half of next week as a weaker low pressure system.
More reliable forecasts will become available during the next few days. Anyone living in eastern Queensland should keep an eye on the latest tropical cyclone track maps and advisories, which can be found here: http://www.bom.gov.au/products/IDQ65002.shtml