First cyclone of season could form in Gulf of Carpentaria by Wednesday, weather bureau says

The first cyclone of the season could form in the Gulf of Carpentaria in far north Queensland by Wednesday, the weather bureau says.

The bureau said communities on western Cape York and the southern Gulf of Carpentaria should prepare for a possible cyclone.

It said a monsoon trough and tropical low appeared to be strengthening and could become a cyclone over the Gulf.

Senior forecaster Jonty Hall said it would be the first of the season.

"We don't have any significant low pressure system on that trough over the water, but we expect one may develop in the next day or two over the central Gulf of Carpentaria," he said.

"If that does occur, the environment will be very conducive [to] further intensification and hence we have a high chance of development of a tropical cyclone by Wednesday.

"If it does develop through the Gulf of Carpentaria waters, they are very enclosed and so whatever direction it moves is mostly likely to the south-south-east.

"No matter which direction it moves, it is likely to approach land along the Gulf of Carpentaria coast."

The bureau's seasonal outlook for cyclone activity in the Coral Sea off north Queensland predicted a "less active than average season".

It said there was a 73 per cent chance of a below average number of tropical cyclones in the Coral Sea, with the average number being four.

The bureau said about one-quarter of tropical cyclones in the Coral Sea region crossed the coast.

Meanwhile in the Northern Territory, a weather monitoring station at Darwin's airport was struck by lightning and put out of action.

Source: ABC News

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