Strong winds and rain lash Rankin Street in the centre of the town of Innisfail as category 5 Tropical Cyclone Yasi crosses the Northern Queensland coast.
Strong winds and rain lash Rankin Street in the centre of the town of Innisfail as category 5 Tropical Cyclone Yasi crosses the Northern Queensland coast.

Cyclone brewing: FNQ braces for wild weather

FAR north Queensland is bracing for a drenching with flood warnings throughout the region as a tropical cyclone brews offshore.

Up to 300mm of rain is expected to be dumped on the Cassowary Coast region alone in the next 48 hours, according to Bureau of Meteorology's Shane Kennedy.

"The Cassowary Coast is likely to be the hardest-hit region," he said.

"We could see between 200-300mm across the Wednesday to Thursday period."

A monsoonal trough has extended across Cape York Peninsula and there is a tropical low in the Gulf of Carpentaria, Mr Kennedy said.

Towns like Innisfail (pictured), Cardwell and Tully are expected to cop the brunt of the rain. File picture
Towns like Innisfail (pictured), Cardwell and Tully are expected to cop the brunt of the rain. File picture

"The tropical low in the Gulf of Carpentaria is expected to move east and pop out to the Coral Sea by Thursday with a high chance of developing into a tropical cyclone from Friday," Mr Kennedy said.

Daily rainfalls of up to 150mm are expected in Cairns and 100mm in Townsville, but the Cassowary Coast - which includes towns such as Innisfail, Cardwell and Tully - will feel the brunt of it.

Strong wind warnings were likely to be issued on Thursday for conditions extending through to Friday.

"From Thursday we are likely to see strong wind warnings across the majority of the east coast and potentially gale warnings from late on Thursday into Friday but at this stage, gales are likely to remain just offshore," he said.

"Any tropical cyclone is likely to move southeast fairly quickly, so at this stage, it appears that it's likely to move far enough offshore by Friday to draw heavy rainfall off the coast by late Friday and over the weekend."

Parts of Queensland have already been pelted by rain including Hervey Bay, which has received around 175mm so far this month which is well above the March average of 135mm, he said.


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