Yacht 'Sail Away' against the rocks in Airlie thanks to winds from TC Iris.
Yacht 'Sail Away' against the rocks in Airlie thanks to winds from TC Iris. Stevon Kemp

Iris fighting for a third life in Coral Sea

EX-TROPICAL Cyclone Iris is fighting for her third life as she gains strength moving up the Coral Sea.

The Bureau of Meteorology warned there was a moderate chance the system would redevelop into a cyclone.

The latest tropical cyclone outlook issued at 2:30pm indicated there was a 20 to 50 per cent chance of Iris coming back for her third life on Thursday.

Ex-tropical cyclone Iris is currently sitting 980km east of Cooktown. Source: NASA
Ex-tropical cyclone Iris is currently sitting 980km east of Cooktown. Source: NASA

Forecaster Lauren Pattie said ex-tropical cyclone Iris was sitting 980km east of Cooktown.

"She's been on a long tour of the Coral Sea," Ms Pattie said.

"At the moment she is well offshore."

As Iris gains strength, her direction may change once again.

"We are expecting her to move north towards Papua New Guinea in the next few days," Ms Pattie said.

"Towards the latter part of the week it starts to move a little further west," Ms Pattie said

Sky News Weather meteorologist Tristan Meyers said Iris had proven to be a more unusual cyclone than normal.

"It's definitely not taking its usual track - usually we get a cyclone forming in the north and heading down south - it's been a bit of a loopy cyclone and fairly slow moving," Mr Meyers said.

Photo gallery: Cyclone Iris forms in Coral Sea

Iris first formed as a tropical low near the Solomon Islands on March 20 and has since strengthened into a tropical cyclone twice.

"It turned into a category 1 cyclone in Fiji waters on the 24th and was a cyclone for a day," Mr Meyers said.

Iris then weakened back into a low again and headed towards Queensland where she sat offshore the coast and grew into a category 2 system at the beginning of April.

"It's a fairly persistent system - this one has been lingering around for quite some time," Mr Meyers said.

Bureau of Meteorology forecaster Adam Blazak said if the low had moved over land or into southern waters it would have decayed.

"It is just hanging around over waters of the Coral Sea which is what is keeping it alive at this stage," Mr Blazak said.

"It is reasonably unusual for a low to hang around for this long."

Since Cyclone Iris originally formed in Fijian waters, the system was not renamed when it formed back into a tropical cyclone in Australian waters.

"Because the low level circulation was the same one that came from Fiji, it gets the same name," Mr Blazak said.

"If that system was to move back up the coast (and form into a cyclone) it would retain its name."

The next tropical cyclone to form in Australian waters will be named Owen, following Tropical Cyclone Nora which crossed the western coast of Cape York Peninsula in March.



NEAR MISS: The reaction video that could save a life

premium_icon NEAR MISS: The reaction video that could save a life

Watching this devastated reaction video to the end could save a life

Police release CCTV in hunt for armed robber

premium_icon Police release CCTV in hunt for armed robber

Detectives have released an image of the alleged robber carrying a carving knife.