How much rain the Far North is expecting as cyclone brews

THE low pressure system powering up in the Arafura Sea is set to produce wet and breezy weather for parts of the Far North.

However, the Queensland gulf is not expected to be directly impacted by the system.

This morning the Bureau of Meteorology released a cyclone watch and track map of the developing system, which predicts landfall as a category 1 cyclone about 150km west of the Goulburn Islands on Friday morning.

"A developing tropical low is currently slow moving east of Cape Wessel," the Bureau advised.

"The low is expected to turn to the west-southwest overnight tonight. It will continue to intensify and is likely to develop into a tropical cyclone on Wednesday night."



The Bureau has rated the system a 5-20 per cent chance of reaching cyclone strength.

Bureau forecaster Dan Narramore said the system would produce widespread rainfall across the Cairns region.

"We will see an increase in shower and thunderstorm activity from Townsville north, including Cairns, Cooktown and Port Douglas and even the Tablelands and Mareeba," he said.

"There could be storms inland but probably more for Cairns there will be showers streaming in every half-hour or so and then more widespread thunderstorm activity through the Peninsula and the northern Gulf."


A Windy TV graphic showing the expected formation of Category 1 cyclone in the Northern Territory.
A Windy TV graphic showing the expected formation of Category 1 cyclone in the Northern Territory.

Mr Narramore said during the next two days parts of the Far North could expect 30-50mm and isolated coastal rainfall could exceed 100mm.

"Almost all of the top half of Queensland is probably going to see some rain and thunderstorm activity over the next three or four days … due to that moist onshore flow bringing all those showers," he said.

He said the Arafura Sea system would be too far west to close ports or bring down trees in Western Cape townships such as Weipa, Aurukun and Pormpuraaw.

"It's probably going to form north of Echo Island and continue to move west so it's probably not close enough," he said.