Weather

Ex-Tropical Cyclone Penny update

Ben Domensino, 8 January 2019

Heavy rain and strong wind are affecting central Queensland today as Ex-Tropical Cyclone Penny slowly moves towards the state's east coast.

A severe weather warning and a flood watch are in place for parts of central Queensland today, with wind and rain likely to remain a threat during the next 24-48 hours.

At 10am Queensland time on Tuesday, Ex-Tropical Cyclone Penny was located just under 300km to the east northeast of Bowen, moving towards the coast at about 13km/h.

Image: Ex-Tropical Cyclone Penny near Queensland's central coast on Tuesday, 8th January, 2019.

The system is likely to maintain its generally westward track and should move over the coast sometime on Tuesday night or Wednesday, most likely somewhere between Townsville and Mackay.

While there is still some room for the system's future track to change slightly, redevelopment into a tropical cyclone is unlikely before it reaches the coast.

The low pressure system will cause heavy rain along the coast and adjacent inland between about Biloela and Ayr, where localised totals of 100-200mm are possible by the end of Wednesday. During the 12 hours between midnight and midday today, Mackay Airport had already collected 61mm of rain.

Damaging wind gusts exceeding 90km/h are likely along exposed coastal areas in central Queensland on Tuesday and possibly into Wednesday as the system approaches the coast. On Tuesday morning, gusts reached up to 72km/h on Hamilton Island and 76km/h at Middle Percy Island.

Wind and rain will ease after the low pressure system moves over land, however a broad upper trough and abundant atmospheric moisture will lead to widespread showers and thunderstorms over northern Queensland during the coming days.

Visit http://www.bom.gov.au/cyclone for the latest official tropical cyclone information.