Quality news, views and analysis of issues that affect and inform us in the Douglas Shire.

WEATHER / Cooktown Low Contracts South over Weekend

A trough with an embedded low [1002 hPa] north of Cooktown, will gradually contract southward over the next few days. A high [1014 hPa] near New Zealand maintains a weak ridge along the east coast south of the trough. A new high moves into the Tasman Sea early next week, reinforcing the ridge. The outlook for formation of a tropical cyclone over the weekend remains very low, but a strong wind warning is in place for the Cooktown region over the weekend.

Wind Warning

Issued at 4:45 am EST on Saturday 16 January 2021
for the period until midnight EST Sunday 17 January 2021.

Strong Wind Warning for the Cooktown Coast for Sunday 17 January 2021.

The next marine wind warning summary will be issued by 3:50 pm EST Saturday.

Credit / Bureau of Meteorology

Forecast for Saturday until midnight

WindsSoutheasterly 15 to 20 knots, reaching up to 25 knots north of Cairns.
SeasAround 1 metre, increasing to 1 to 1.5 metres north of Cairns.
SwellEasterly around 1 metre outside the reef.
WeatherPartly cloudy. 95% chance of showers north of Cairns, 60% chance elsewhere. A thunderstorm likely offshore north of Cairns.

Sunday 17 January

WindsEast to southeasterly 15 to 20 knots, reaching up to 25 knots north of Cairns
SeasAround 1 metre, increasing to 1 to 2 metres north of Cairns.
SwellNortheast to southeasterly around 1 metre outside the reef.
WeatherCloudy. 95% chance of showers. The chance of a thunderstorm.

Monday 18 January

WindsEast to northeasterly 15 to 20 knots decreasing to 10 to 15 knots during the evening.
Seas1 to 1.5 metres, decreasing to 1 metre during the afternoon or evening.
SwellNortheast to southeasterly around 1 metre outside the reef.
WeatherPartly cloudy. 95% chance of showers. The chance of a thunderstorm.

Tropical Cyclone Outlook

At 1pm AEST Friday, the monsoon trough extended through the northern Gulf of Carpentaria and across the northern Coral Sea towards New Caledonia.

A tropical low may develop on this trough close to the Queensland coast northeast of Cooktown during the next 24 to 36 hours. However, at this stage the probability of this system developing further into a tropical cyclone is considered very low.

Likelihood of a tropical cyclone in the Eastern Region

Saturday / Very Low

Sunday /Very Low

Monday / Very Low


Initial Flood Watch for the North Tropical Coast between Cooktown and Ingham

Issued at 2:26 pm EST on Friday 15 January 2021

Flood Watch Number: 1 Minor to moderate flooding possible from late Sunday.

Heavy rainfall associated with a developing tropical low is forecast to develop between Cooktown and Cairns during Sunday. The risk of heavy rainfall will extend southwards to Ingham overnight Sunday and during Monday. The location of the heaviest rainfall is dependent on the development and movement of the tropical low.

Heavy rainfall has fallen over the majority of catchments within the Flood Watch area over the last two weeks. Rivers will therefore respond relatively quickly to further rainfall.

Minor to moderate flooding is possible in the Flood Watch area, particularly within the catchments where flooding has recently occurred.

Localised flooding and disruption to transport routes are possible within the Flood Watch area from Sunday.

Within the Flood Watch area, Flood Warnings are current for the upper Herbert River and Murray River.

Catchments likely to be affected include:

Endeavour River
Daintree River
Mossman River
Barron River
Mulgrave and Russell Rivers
Johnstone River
Tully River
Murray River
Herbert River

See www.bom.gov.au/qld/warnings to view the current flood and cyclone products for Queensland.

For more information on the Flood Watch Service: http://www.bom.gov.au/water/floods/floodWarningServices.shtml


Further information

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