Ann expected to cross coast as cyclone

TOWNSVILLE could receive up to 50mm of rain over the next two days as Cyclone Ann heads towards the Queensland coast.

Cyclone Ann was a category two system but weakened to a category one today.

The cyclone in the far eastern side of the Coral Sea is moving west northwest and is forecast to cross the coast as a named system, according to the Bureau of Meteorology's latest track map.

Cyclone Ann remains as a Category 2 system 800kms east of Cairns and is moving west at 24km/h.
Cyclone Ann remains as a Category 2 system 800kms east of Cairns and is moving west at 24km/h.

Winds near the centre of the cyclone are 85km/h with gusts of up to 120km/h.

If the system does cross the coast as a named system, it will be the first out-of-season cyclone to do so since Cyclone Meena hit Weipa in 1989.

As Cyclone Ann approaches the coast, a storm tide may occur between Lockhart River and Cape Tribulation. Large waves may produce minor flooding along the foreshore.

Heavy rain is expected from Ingham up to the Lockhart River on Tuesday.

A flood watch has been issued for coastal catchments between Ingham and Cooktown.

According to the bureau, falls of 8 to 30mm are expected tomorrow most likely from the late morning.

On Wednesday there is a high chance of 5 to 20mm of rain falling over Townsville.

Rains are expected to ease by Thursday.

"Tropical Cyclone Ann is sitting off the coast and it has actually strengthened through last night and into this morning and it has some pretty strong winds around that system,"

Sky meteorologist Rob Sharpe said.

"However it should weaken before it get the Queensland coastline but regardless it will be bringing some heavy rain and also some gusty winds for the Queensland coastline, particularly through the tropics.

"We will start to see showers particularly really ramping up, particularly late Tuesday into Wednesday with potential for the remnants of that system making landfall on Wednesday I would think as a low pressure system."