Flooding over the road at the Freshwater Creek Bridge. Part of the Captain Cook Highway is also flooded. Picture: Cairns Regional Council, Facebook
Flooding over the road at the Freshwater Creek Bridge. Part of the Captain Cook Highway is also flooded. Picture: Cairns Regional Council, Facebook

Monsoon on the move could turn into cyclone

FORECASTERS are warning the monsoon trough that has been raining hard over north Queensland could now develop into a cyclone.

The monsoon is expected to move offshore this weekend, signalling a reprieve for flood-battered Queenslanders.

Bureau of Meteorology forecaster Lachlan Stoney said the current outlook indicated a low chance of forming into a cyclone, although the possibility of strengthening was not out of the question.

"It's expected to move offshore this Sunday and form a low pressure system east of Cairns," he said.

"With monsoonal activity shifting further away offshore, rainfall will ease off most of the tropics.

"There's potential for more showers and storms to form inland of the north tropical coast and Cape York Peninsula coming on Sunday, but these are unrelated to the monsoons."

Mr Stoney said if a cyclone formed, it would be unlikely to impact the Queensland coast at this stage, as it was projected to move further east into the Coral Sea.

Cargo delays still on cards

HEAVY winds from monsoon activity to the north has led to possible delays for cargo shipments to the Cape and Torres Strait.

According to SeaSwift, a number of cargo ship operations to the Western Cape and Torres Strait were delayed last week due to the weather conditions, including a shipment to Aurukun last Saturday which was transshipped to Weipa to connect with air charter flights to fly essential supplies into the community three days later.

Aurukun Shire Council mayor Dereck Walpo said he was confident the next shipment on Sunday would stock up delayed supplies.

"The community's hanging in there, we're making sure people are stocking up on essential items," he said. "We're hoping the shipment on Sunday will make it in, we're looking at a 90 per cent chance."

SeaSwift executive assistant Sheena Poa said they would deal with further monsoon situations as they arise and keep customers up to date.

Strong wind warnings are in place for the North East Gulf of Carpentaria, Torres Strait, Peninsula Coast and Cairns Coast.

Scattered showers and thunderstorms will persist along the Cape from north of Cooktown up to the Torres Strait Islands.

Bureau of Meteorology forecaster Lachlan Stoney said these shower and wind conditions are expected to subside this Sunday as the monsoon trough shifts offshore.


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