Severe Tropical Cyclone Nathan will make landfall on the north Queensland coast early on Friday between Cape Melville and Cooktown, packing wind gusts of up to 260km/h, very heavy rain and a dangerous storm tide.
Nathan originally developed as a tropical low on the 9th of March, before intensifying into a tropical cyclone later on the day.
Ever since then Nathan has seemingly been exploring the Coral Sea. After originally moving west and getting close to north Queensland Coast, he barely moved for a day before changing his mind again and moving away from the coast.
For a couple of days, it seemed likely that Nathan would then move towards New Caledonia, leaving Australia behind. However, he had another trick up his sleeve, taking a more southerly path before finally tending westwards back towards the QLD coast.
With the exception of another change of mind, it now seems likely Nathan will cross the QLD coast early on Friday morning, between Cape Melville and Cooktown.
Thankfully, for those that were hardest hit by Larry in 2006 (also known as the banana-killer), Nathan will most likely make landfall further north, away from most large population centres. Cooktown and Port Douglas are most at risk of being affected.
Nathans’s very destructive core will pack wind gusts of up to 260km/h, with destructive winds likely to extend about 70km out from the centre. Gales with gusts to 120km/h could extend up to 130km out from the centre.
Within about a 50-100km radius of Nathan, falls of 200-400mm possible, most likely about the coast and ranges.
Coastal residents between Cape Melville and Cape Tribulation face the risk of a dangerous storm tide that could occur as Nathan crosses the coast. This storm tide could be particularly dangerous as landfall could coincide with possibly the highest tide of the year. This means damaging waves and flooding are likely over low-lying areas, possibly extending some way inland.
However, after Nathan makes landfall his story is not yet over.
After crossing the Cape York Peninsula for the remainder of Friday, Nathan should move into the Gulf of Carpentaria on Saturday and reintensify, posing a threat to the mainland again from late on the weekend.