Cyclone chance firms as bureau remains on watch
THE weather bureau continues to be on cyclone watch, with the chance of two cyclones forming over the next week.
Bureau of Meteorology forecaster David Crock said this morning they were assessing a "moderate" chance of a cyclone forming in the Gulf of Carpentaria this weekend.
"We'll be watching that closely over the next few days as the monsoon trough strengthens and increases the ability of a cyclone to form," Mr Crock said.
With cyclones forming in the Gulf, the forecaster said they are more likely to affect the Northern Territory and far western parts of Queensland.
"The models suggest it would move west or south-west if it did form," Mr Crock said.
"We can't rule out it moving south towards the Gulf country but it is looking like it'll move west if it does form."
Say hello to Cyclone #Hola, which formed overnight near #Vanuatu. It should move south then SE, with no risk to #Qld. Still a moderate chance of another cyclone developing in the Gulf on the weekend - we are monitoring that closely. More on cyclones here: https://t.co/mRmh7OjFVq pic.twitter.com/8MrEd2pKdL— Bureau of Meteorology, Queensland (@BOM_Qld) March 6, 2018
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Mr Crock said while models had strongly suggested a second cyclone forming in the Coral Sea over the next week, it was "less likely now".
"There's still a chance so we are keeping a close eye on it, but models have sort of moved away from a cyclone forming out (in the Coral Sea) at this stage," he said.
The bureau's Tropical Cyclone Outlook for the Coral Sea states "the tropics are expected to become more active over the weekend and next week".
"Although there are no specific cyclone threats identifiable in the Coral Sea at this lead time, conditions will continue to be closely monitored."
With western Queensland still copping huge rainfall totals -- Winton has received 200mm over the past three days -- the monsoon will mean the ground won't be drying out anytime soon.
"The remnants of the rain band which impacted western Queensland over the past few days is still there, it's weakening and most of the heat has gone out of that one," Mr Crock said.
"After that clears out it'll all be about the monsoon in the very far north and potential for that cyclone over the weekend."
Meanwhile, Mr Crock said Cyclone Hola, which formed overnight near Vanuatu should have no impact on the Queensland coast.