Weather

Tropical Cyclone Riley distracts from drenching tropical low in northern Queensland

Jacobus Cronje, 27 January 2019

A seemingly innocent tropical low pressure system that formed over the Gulf of Carpentaria has brought the heaviest daily rainfall in a decade to parts of Queensland's North Tropical Coast and Tablelands.

Tropical Cyclone Riley, a Category 2 cyclone and much more intense tropical system, is currently situated to the northwest of Karratha, but is not having a direct impact on Australia.

On the other side of the country, the complex system situated within the monsoon trough currently extending across the base of the Cape Yorke Peninsula, brought 24-hour totals of 100-200mm to various stations over the district. Several stations even recorded more than 200mm of rainfall, with Cairns Airport's 277mm the heaviest daily rainfall the station has seen in a decade, and Low Isles' 239mm its heaviest rainfall in nine years.

Both Innisfail and Cooktown Airport recorded around 130mm, while falls of 50-100mm were recorded over Cardwell, Mareeba Airport and Walkamin.

The system is expected to slowly track south over the interior of tropical Queensland during the next 24 hours. Although it is not expected to move off the Queensland Coast and develop into a tropical cyclone at this stage, there remains a slightly elevated risk that this system could develop into Australia's next tropical cyclone.

Whatever the system's track and development, it is expected to bring widespread heavy falls across northern Queensland during the next few days.

A severe weather warning for heavy rainfall and flooding is currently in place for Herbert and Lower Burdekin and parts of North Tropical Coast and Tablelands, Northern Goldfields and Upper Flinders, Central Coast and Whitsundays and Central Highlands and Coalfields.


- Weatherzone

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