The premier of Queensland, Steven Miles has warned residents of parts of the state to be prepared for an incoming cyclone that can have a severe impact if it hits the coast mid-next week.
On Friday morning, the Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) forecasted a 55% chance that a storm developing in the Coral Sea would evolve into a tropical cyclone named Kirrily by late Sunday. This probability was anticipated to rise to 75% by Monday. The cyclone had the potential to intensify into a category three system or even stronger before making landfall.
“There is a significant risk that this system may impact the Queensland coast from later Tuesday onwards next week. A severe impact is possible,” the BoM update said.
During a BoM briefing on Friday afternoon, senior meteorologist Felim Hanniffy stated that weather models indicated the system could transform into a severe tropical cyclone with wind gusts exceeding 165 km/h.
However, significant uncertainties persisted regarding whether the cyclone would cross the coast of Queensland and, if so, when that would occur. The evolving situation underscored the challenges in precisely predicting the path and intensity of the cyclone.
At this stage, models suggested the weather system would take “a more south-westerly track towards the Queensland coast from early next week”, Hanniffy said. “The big uncertainty lies from later Tuesday. Some of the models show it crossing the coast. Other models suggest that it will recurve close to the Queensland coast but then move further off the coast towards New Caledonia as well to the latter parts of the week,” he said. “So certainly a significant risk for the Queensland coast.”