Date: 2022-01-10 08:29:05
The Bureau of Meteorology has issued a cyclone watch for a large area of the Northern Territory coastline as preparations for a category three system get underway.
- NT authorities are bracing for a possible category three cyclone to hit the Top End’s east coast on Wednesday
- A flood watch has been issued for Carpentaria coastal rivers
- Territorians in warning zones are being urged to prepare their cyclone kits
Cyclone Tiffany, which is currently making landfall over Far North Queensland, is forecast to enter NT waters on Tuesday.
A cyclone watch has been issued for Nhulunbuy, including Groote Eylandt, to the Queensland border.
The system is expected to move west, potentially intensifying into a category three cyclone before impacting Groote Eylandt and Numbulwar on Wednesday.
“Tropical cyclones in the Gulf of Carpentaria are notoriously erratic, so the exact path and strength of the cyclone may change in the coming days,” the Bureau of Meteorology’s Shenagh Gamble said.
“We expect rainfall totals in the vicinity of 50 to 150 millimetres per day, widespread, across the eastern NT coastline.”
Ms Gamble said a category three system could see sustained winds of more than 120 kilometres per hour, with gusts getting close to 200kph.
A flood watch has also been issued for Carpentaria coastal rivers.
NT Police Assistant Commissioner Janelle Tonkin said an emergency operations centre had been stood up to plan the response.
She said additional police and government resources had been deployed to Groote Eylandt, but said it was too early to tell if the community would be evacuated.
“At this point, we’re looking at a category three impact on Groote Eylandt,” she said.
“Groote Eylandt has shelter capacity for category three. The advice at this point will be to shelter and stay in location.
“At this point we’re not planning for any evacuations, but of course we are keeping an open mind.”
Assistant Commissioner Tonkin said extra staff could open a public shelter if required.
Ms Gamble said there were some unique differences with cyclones that made their way through the Gulf.
“In the Gulf of Carpentaria, the sea surface temperatures are quite warm, and the way that the land mass encompasses the Gulf also really increases the likelihood of coastal interaction, and can cause the cyclone to behave a bit erratically.”
Residents across the NT, but particularly those in warning zones, are being encouraged to prepare their cyclone kits.