A tropical cyclone approaching north Queensland could cause rain and storms in multiple states and territories later this week, according to Weatherzone.
Tropical Cyclone Ann formed over the eastern Coral Sea early on Sunday morning and by this morning had strengthened into a category two tropical cyclone.
At 10am it was located just under 1000km to the east of Cairns.
The late-season cyclone should weaken before reaching northern Queensland, but could still cause rain and storms in multiple states and territories later this week, according to Weatherzone’s Ben Domensino.
Image: Satellite image of Tropical Cyclone Ann on Monday May 13th, 2019.
Mr Domensino said that while it is unusual for tropical cyclones to occur in the Australian region this late in the season, it is not unprecedented.
Tropical Cyclone Pierre formed over the Solomon Sea during the middle of May in 2007. More recently, Tropical Cyclone Greg lasted into the early hours of May 1st, 2017 before being downgraded to a Tropical Low near the Cocos Islands. In 2015, Tropical Cyclone Quang made landfall near Exmouth on May 1st.
Tropical Cyclone Ann is expected to gradually weaken as it moves towards northern Queensland during the next two days.
Ann is currently forecast to reach the eastern side of Cape York Peninsula on Wednesday as a low pressure system. However, landfall as a category one tropical cyclone can’t be ruled out, according to a technical bulletin issued by the Bureau of Meteorology on Monday morning.
If Ann makes it to northern Queensland as a category one cyclone, it’s likely to cause damaging winds near it’s core. However, heavy rain and storms are likely to be a threat regardless of Ann’s strength at landfall.
A wave of tropical moisture accompanying the remnants of Cyclone Ann will cause rain and thunderstorms to increase over central and northern Queensland on Tuesday and Wednesday.
This pulse of moisture will continue to drift across the Northern Territory from Thursday, where it could produce widespread showers and storms during the second half of the week.
There are indications that a strong frontal system crossing southern Australia at the end of this week could draw Ann’s tropical moisture southwards. If this happens, widespread showers and storms will also affect parts of South Australia, NSW, Victoria and Tasmania towards the end of the week.
Image: Forecast rain this week according to the ECMWF-HRES model.
It’s too early to know how this event will unfold across Australia, because tropical cyclones are unpredictable systems and it will involve the interaction of two separate synoptic systems. As a result, forecasts may change a bit during the coming days as computer models try to figure out what’s likely to happen.