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Severe weather warning extended across Far North



The Bureau of Meteorology has warned heavy rainfall which may lead to flash flooding is forecast for areas southwest of Old Mapoon to Lockhart River from early Wednesday. A flood watch is also in place for rivers in the Far North ahead of the system’s expected movement. “A strengthening monsoon trough currently extends from a tropical low over the Top End of the Northern Territory through the Gulf of Carpentaria and over the base of Cape York Peninsula,” BOM says.“The tropical low is forecast to move into the Gulf of Carpentaria late today and towards the eastern Gulf Country district during Wednesday.”Six-hourly rainfall totals between 100 to 120mm are possible, the BOM warns. Locally heavier falls up to 180mm are also possible over coastal communities about the Gulf coast and may also develop about the east coast north of Port Douglas.Damaging wind gusts, with peak gusts of around 100 km/h, are forecast to develop over areas north of about Kowanyama from sunrise on Wednesday and spread eastwards across the northern Peninsula during the day. Locally destructive wind gusts with peak gusts in excess of 125 km/h are also possible with thunderstorms. Locations which may be affected include Georgetown, Port Douglas, Lockhart River, Weipa, Hope Vale and Napranum.Cape storm warning Dec 28The Regional Harbour Master has enacted an Extreme Weather Event – Prevention Phase 1 for multiple Cape York ports.The ports of Weipa, Karumba, Kennedy (Thursday Island) and Skardon River have been warned a weather event is likely to affect the area within 48 hours.“Vessel operators and owners should review their safety plans and address any outstanding matters.”MONDAY: The Bureau of Meteorology has issued an initial flood watch for parts of the Far North ahead of the potential of “very heavy rainfall” in the region this week. A developing tropical low associated with a monsoon trough over northern Australia is forecast to move into the Gulf of Carpentaria late Tuesday, then move east across northern Queensland from late Wednesday into Thursday, the BOM says.“Heavy rainfall is forecast to develop and increase over the next few days, initially over the Cape York Peninsula and lower Gulf catchments, before extending eastwards to affect the North Tropical Coast on Wednesday and Thursday,” the Bureau said.“Very heavy rainfall is likely locally, with potentially intense rainfall in isolated locations.”The current forecast for Cairns on Wednesday warns of rain, including possible heavy falls, of up to 120mm. In its statement, the BOM said the majority of catchments across the Flood Watch area were relatively dry, which would limit their initial response to rainfall. However, with prolonged rainfall, river level rises above the minor flood level are likely from late Wednesday into Thursday, with some areas of moderate flooding possible, most likely on the North Tropical Coast.Localised flooding and disruption to transport routes are likely across parts of the Flood Watch area.Catchments likely to be affected include:Settlement CreekNicholson RiverLeichhardt RiverUpper Flinders RiverLower Flinders RiverCloncurry RiverNorman RiverGilbert RiverJardine RiverDucie, Jackson and Skardon RiversWenlock RiverEmbley and Mission RiversWatson RiverArcher and Coen RiversHolroyd and Kendall RiversColeman and Edward RiversMitchell RiverStaaten RiverJacky Jacky CreekOlive and Pascoe RiversLockhart RiverStewart RiverNormanby RiverJeannie RiverEndeavour RiverDaintree RiverMossman RiverBarron RiverMulgrave and Russell RiversJohnstone RiverTully RiverMurray RiverHerbert River

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