Keppel Bay Marina Operations Manager Dean Ganfield ensuring boats are well secured at the Marina
Keppel Bay Marina Operations Manager Dean Ganfield ensuring boats are well secured at the Marina Trish Bowman

Cyclone update: Capricornia gale warning as TC Iris weakens

UPDATE THURSDAY, 6.15AM: 

CYCLONE Iris has weakened, but a gale warning remains current  for the Capricornia Coast today and strong winds are expected tomorrow.

The Bureau of Meteorology last night cancelled the cyclone warning zone for Bowen to Shoalwater Bay.

The BoM's latest update at 4.33am today locates the now category 1 system over the central Coral Sea, about 310km north-east of Mackay.

Wind gusts in Yeppoon peaked at 74kmh yesterday between 12.54am and 1.54am, but ranged from 65kmh at 2.18pm and fluctuated around the low of 32kmh overnight and into this morning.

Overnight St Lawrence, which had previously been in the warning zone, experienced wind gusts from a low of 13kmh at 2.30pm to a peak 30kmh at 6am this morning.

"Iris is moving east southeast at 6 kilometres per hour and is expected to continue on this track during today, while gradually weakening," the BoM state.
"Iris is forecast to weaken below tropical cyclone intensity over the central Coral Sea during today, before adopting a track back towards the northwest as a tropical low," the warning states.  

"Gales are expected to continue about the central and southern Great Barrier Reef today, though the risk of damaging winds and heavy rainfall has diminished about the Queensland east coast."

A strong wind warning for the Capricornia Coast is current for tomorrow.  

UPDATE 8.10PM: The Tropical cyclone warning for the Queensland coast has been cancelled.

The Bureau of Meteorology confirmed in their latest update at 7.51pm Tropical Cyclone Iris moving away from the coast and expected to weaken further.

The warning for Bowen to Shoalwater Bay has been cancelled. 

MetEye from Bureau of Meteorology showing Cyclone Iris at 5pm.
MetEye from Bureau of Meteorology showing Cyclone Iris at 5pm. Contributed

At 7pm, Tropical Cyclone Iris was a category 1, sustaining winds near the centre of 85km/h with wind gusts up to 120km/h.

It was estimated to be 260 kilometres east northeast of Hamilton Island and 285 kilometres northeast of Mackay and moving in a east southeastly direction at 10 km/h. 

Tropical cyclone Iris has weakened during the past few hours and moved further away from the coast.

Iris was expected to continue on its current track overnight, while weakening further.

On Thursday, Iris should weaken below tropical cyclone intensity and slow down offshore of the Central Coast, before adopting a track back towards the northwest as a remnant tropical low.

Given the recent motion away from the coast and weakening of the system, the cyclone warning is now cancelled for the Queensland coast.

Gales with damaging wind gusts in excess of 90km/h are no longer expected along the Queensland coast of islands. 

Heavy rainfall is no longer a threat to develop along the coast tonight or Thursday, and remains unlikely later in the week.

UPDATE 5.10PM:   TROPICAL Cyclone Iris has weakened to a category 1 cyclone however residents on the Central Queensland Coast are being warned gale force winds are possible.  

The Bureau of Meteorology released the latest warning at 4.42pm with details of the Tropical Cyclone Iris at 4pm.   Gales with damaging wind gusts in excess of 100km/h are beginning to ease about the Whitsunday Islands as the cyclone weakens and moves further away.  

However, gales could redevelop about the Whitsunday Islands and exposed coastal areas between Bowen and Shoalwater Bay tonight if the cyclone takes a more southerly track than expected.  

Maximum wind gusts across Central Queensland today include 74km/h for Yeppoon at 1am this morning.   Rockhampton saw 54km/winds at 4pm, Rosslyn Bay Harbour recorded 59km/h winds at 6am, Biloela recorded 48km/h winds at 11am and Moranbah recorded 61km/h at 12.35pm.  

The highest recorded winds were at Middle Percy Island with 93km/h at 1am.  

Heavy rainfall, which could lead to flash flooding, is becoming increasingly unlikely as the cyclone weakens and moves further away from the coast.   

However, heavy rainfall may still develop about coastal parts of the central Queensland coast tonight or on Thursday if the cyclone takes a more southerly track than expected.   

Very little rain has been recorded for parts of Central Queensland since 9am this morning with the highest rainfall at Samuel Hill (Shoalwater Bay) with 8.8mm.   

A Flood Watch is current for coastal catchments between Ayr and St Lawrence.  

People between Bowen and Shoalwater Bay, including Mackay and the Whitsunday Islands, are being recommended to take precautions and listen to the next advice at 8pm.  

The Bureau of Meteorology advised Tropical cyclone Iris has weakened to a category 1 cyclone, expected to weaken further overnight or tomorrow.  

The cyclone has sustained winds near the centre of 85 km/h with wind gusts to 120 km/h.  

It was most recently located 75km of 19.4 degrees south 150.9 degrees east, estimated to be 230km east north-east of Hamilton Island and 265km north-east of Mackay.  

It is moving east south-east at 8 km/h.  

Tropical cyclone Iris has weakened during the past few hours and is now a category 1 cyclone.   

During the past few hours, Iris has turned in a more east-southeasterly direction and moved slightly further away from the coast.  

Iris is expected to continue on its current track tonight, while weakening further.   

On Thursday, Iris should weaken below tropical cyclone intensity and slow down offshore of the Central Coast, before adopting a track back towards the northwest as a tropical low during Friday.  

The next update will be issued by 8pm. 

UPDATE 2PM: DAMAGING wind gusts are still predicted for communities in the Cyclone Iris warning zone, which extends from Bowen to Shoalwater Bay.

  The Bureau of Meteorology's latest warning issued at 2pm shows the category 2 tracking south-east at 12kmh off Queensland's central coast.   TC Iris has sustained winds of 95kmh near the centre and wind gusts up to 130kmh..

It is expected to continue on its south-easterly track during today, while gradually weakening.  

"On Thursday, Iris should weaken below tropical cyclone intensity and slow down offshore of the Central Coast, before adopting a track back towards the north-west as a tropical low during Friday," the BoM report.  

A number of river catchments are on flood watch as heavy rainfall could lead to flash flooding in parts of the Central Queensland coast today or tonight if the cyclone takes a more southerly track than expected.  

The flood watch is current for coastal catchments between Ayr and St Lawrence. Read more here.
The next update is expected at 5pm.  

UPDATE 11.10AM: THE Cyclone Iris warning zone has edged north, and now stretches from Bowen to Shoalwater Bay.

Yeppoon had been included in the Bureau of Meteorology's "warning zone" this morning, however this was cancelled in the latest update at 10.45am.  

The Cyclone Iris warning zone now includes Bowen to Shoalwater Bay as the Bureau of Meteorology cancel a warning for Yeppoon.
The Cyclone Iris warning zone now includes Bowen to Shoalwater Bay as the Bureau of Meteorology cancel a warning for Yeppoon. Bureau of Meteorology

The category 2 system has picked up speed travelling south-south-east at 12kmh, with sustained winds near the centre of 95kmh with gusts to 130kmh.  

TC Iris is estimated to be 190 north-east of Hamilton Island and 240kmh north-north-east of Mackay.   It continues to track south-east off the Central coast.  

Gales with damaging wind gusts in excess of 100kmh are continuing about the Whitsunday Islands and may extend to Middle Percy Island later today.  

These gales could develop about remaining coastal and island communities between Bowen and Shoalwater Bay later today or tonight if the cyclone takes a more southerly track than expected.  

Heavy rainfall, which could lead to flash flooding, may develop about parts of the central Queensland coast today or tonight if the cyclone takes a more southerly track than expected.    

A flood watch is current for coastal catchments between Ayr and St Lawrence.  

The next warning is expected at 2pm today. In the meantime, the BoM recommend the following action:

  • People in the Whitsunday Islands and adjacent coastal areas should remain inside until the cyclone has passed and listen to the next advice at 2pm.
  • People in remaining areas between Bowen and Shoalwater Bay, including Mackay, should take precautions and listen to the next advice.
  • Information is available from your local government
  • For cyclone preparedness and safety advice, visit Queensland's Disaster Management Services website (www.disaster.qld.gov.au)
  • - For emergency assistance call the Queensland State Emergency Service (SES) on 132 500 (for assistance with storm damage, rising flood water, fallen trees on buildings or roof damage).
The Bureau of Meteorology's MetEye graphic shows the reach of Cyclone Iris  as at 9.30am Wednesday.
The Bureau of Meteorology's MetEye graphic shows the reach of Cyclone Iris as at 9.30am Wednesday. BOM

 

UDPATE WEDNESDAY, 8.50AM:

CYCLONE Iris continues to travel south-south-east at 8kmh as the category 2 system envelopes Yeppoon in its "warning zone".

The Bureau of Meteorology warn of sustained winds near the centre of 95kmh and gusts of 130kmh as TC Iris sits 265km north-north-east of Mackay; about 30km closer than at 5am.

A number of Central Queensland rivers are on flood watch as heavy rainfall over coastal catchments is expected to lead to river level rises and areas of flooding. Read more here.

The latest warning at 7.33am states the system is expected to continue on the south-easterly tracking during today, while gradually weakening to a category 1 intensity.

"Iris is currently forecast to weaken below tropical cyclone intensity and become slow-moving offshore of the Whitsunday Islands on Thursday, before adopting a track back towards the northwest as a tropical low during Friday," the warning states.

Heavy rainfall, flash flooding, damaging gusts and a chance of thunderstorms are expected for parts of Central Queensland today. Read more here.

Damaging wind gusts of 90kmh could hit the Capricornia district today and tomorrow depending on the movement and development of Tropical Cyclone Iris.

 

Thbe Bureau of Meteorology's modelling as of about 5am shows TC Iris is tracking south-east along the Queensland Coast.
Thbe Bureau of Meteorology's modelling as of about 5am shows TC Iris is tracking south-east along the Queensland Coast. BOM

UPDATE WEDNESDAY, 6AM:

YEPPOON is now in the warning zone for Tropical Cyclone Iris, as the system packs wind gusts up to 130kmh on her course south-east along the Queensland coast.

The Bureau of Meteorology's latest warning just after 5am estimated the system to be 225km north-east of Hamilton Island and 295km north north-east of Mackay, and travelling at 9kmh.

The warning zone stretches from Bowen to Yeppoon, including the Whitsunday Islands, with heavy rainfalls and potential flash flooding possible on the Central Queensland coast today.

At the last update yesterday, Yeppoon was only in the Bureau's "watch zone".

As of 4am, TC Iris was a category 2, with sustained winds near the centre of 95kmh with gusts up to 130kmh.

The Bureau's warning advises TC Iris is expected to continue on its current south-easterly track during today, while gradually weakening to category 1 intensity.

"Iris is currently forecast to weaken below tropical cyclone intensity and become slow-moving offshore of the Whitsunday Islands on Thursday, before adopting a track back towards the northwest during Friday," the Bureau state.

People in the warning zone are advised to take precautions until the next advice, expected at 8am.

HAZARDS:

GALES are occurring about the Whitsunday Islands, and may develop about remaining coastal and island communities between Bowen and St Lawrence, including Mackay and Sarina, today.

These gales may extend south to Yeppoon on tonight.

Heavy rainfall, which could lead to flash flooding, may develop about parts of the Central Queensland coast today. A Flood Watch is current for coastal catchments between Ayr and St Lawrence.

RECOMMENDED ACTION:

People in the Whitsunday Islands and adjacent coastal areas should remain inside until the cyclone has passed and listen to the next advice at 8am.

People in remaining areas between Bowen and Yeppoon, including Mackay, should take precautions and listen to the next advice.

- Information is available from your local government

- For cyclone preparedness and safety advice, visit Queensland's Disaster Management Services website (www.disaster.qld.gov.au)

- For emergency assistance call the Queensland State Emergency Service (SES) on 132 500 (for assistance with storm damage, rising flood water, fallen trees on buildings or roof damage).

 

UPDATE 7PM:

The Bureau of Meteorology has confirmed Cyclone Iris is "intensifying as it continues moving south-east parallel to the Queensland coast."

The latest Tropical Cyclone advice was released at 7.35pm.

The areas affected are:

- Warning zone: Bowen to St Lawrence, including Mackay and Whitsunday Islands

- Watch zone: St Lawrence to Yeppoon

As of 7pm AEST Tropical Cyclone Iris is a category 2 and has sustained winds near the centre of 95 kilometres per hour with wind gusts to 130 kilometres per hour.

It is located within 55 kilometres of 18.3 degrees South 149.7 degrees East, estimated to be 320 kilometres east north-east of Townsville and 320 kilometres north of Mackay.

Tropical Cyclone Iris is moving south south-east at 14 kilometres per hour.

 

BOM's MetEye forecast as at 8pm.
BOM's MetEye forecast as at 8pm. Frazer Pearce

The Bureau of Meteorology said Tropical cyclone Iris is expected to continue on its current southeast track until Thursday, and should intensify further during this period.

On Thursday the cyclone should slow down and begin to weaken.

It may reverse direction and adopt a track to the north-west overnight Thursday or on Friday.

The cyclone is not expected to cross the Queensland coast in the short to medium term, but may approach the coast close enough to produce significant impacts.

 

TROPICAL CYCLONE IRIS TRACKING MAP: Issued at 7:35 pm AEST Tuesday 3 April 2018. Refer to Tropical Cyclone Advice Number 7.
TROPICAL CYCLONE IRIS TRACKING MAP: Issued at 7:35 pm AEST Tuesday 3 April 2018. Refer to Tropical Cyclone Advice Number 7. Bureau of Meteorology

Destructive winds are occurring close to the core of the cyclone and may impact the coastal fringe and islands between Bowen and Mackay, particularly the Whitsunday Islands, from early Wednesday morning if the cyclone takes a more southerly track than expected.

Gales are beginning to occur about the Whitsunday Islands, may develop about remaining coastal and island communities between Bowen and St Lawrence, including Mackay and Sarina, from this evening or early Wednesday morning. These GALES may then extend south to Yeppoon on Wednesday night or Thursday.

Heavy rainfall, which may lead to flash flooding, may develop tonight or on Wednesday, about the Central Coast and Whitsundays district.

A Flood Watch is current for coastal catchments between Ayr and St Lawrence.

The next advice will be issued by 11pm AEST Tuesday April 3.

5.30pm: The cyclone watch for tropical Cyclone Iris has been extended to Yeppoon with gale force winds in the area possible on Wednesday night or Thursday.

In an update issued at 4.54pm the Bureau of Meteorology said the warning zone was from Bowen to St Lawrence with the watch zone from St Lawrence to Yeppoon.

It said people between St Lawrence and Yeppoon should consider what action they will need to take if the cyclone threat increases.

Destructive winds are occurring close to the core of the cyclone and may impact the coastal fringe and islands between Bowen and Mackay, particularly the Whitsunday Islands, from early Wednesday morning if the cyclone takes a more southerly track than expected.

Gales are beginning to occur about the Whitsunday Islands, and may develop about remaining coastal and island communities between Bowen and St Lawrence, including Mackay, overnight tonight or on Wednesday. These gales may then extend south to Yeppoon on Wednesday night or Thursday.

For cyclone preparedness and safety advice, visit Queensland's Disaster Management Services website (www.disaster.qld.gov.au).

At 4pm the cyclone was a Category 2 system with sustained winds near the centre of 95 kilometres per hour with wind gusts to 130 kilometres per hour.

Its location was 320km east northeast of Townsville and 365 kilometres north of Mackay heading southeast at 10km per hour.

Tropical cyclone Iris was expected to continue moving southeast, parallel to the Queensland coast, for the next two days and may intensify further during this period.

On Thursday the cyclone should slow down and begin to weaken.

 

Iris tracking map issued at 4:59 pm Tuesday April 3, 2018.
Iris tracking map issued at 4:59 pm Tuesday April 3, 2018. Frazer Pearce

It may reverse direction and adopt a track to the northwest overnight Thursday or on Friday. The cyclone is not expected to cross the Queensland coast in the short to medium term, but may approach the coast close enough to produce significant impacts.

Heavy rainfall, which may lead to flash flooding, may develop tonight or on Wednesday, chiefly about the Central Coast and Whitsundays district. A Flood Watch is current for coastal catchments between Ayr and St Lawrence.

The bureau recommends that people between Bowen and St Lawrence including Mackay and the Whitsunday Islands, should immediately commence or continue preparations, especially securing boats and property using available daylight hours.

For emergency assistance call the Queensland State Emergency Service (SES) on 132 500 (for assistance with storm damage, rising flood water, fallen trees on buildings or roof damage).

UPDATE 7PM:

Livingstone's Local Disaster Management Group is keeping a close watch on Cyclone Iris.

Livingstone Shire Council released a media release at 6pm tonight stating Tropical Cyclone Iris is currently in the Coral Sea and continues to track, southeast - parallel to the Queensland Coast.

A watch zone extends from St Lawrence to Yeppoon.

Council's Local Disaster Management Group is currently on precautionary alert and is closely monitoring the situation.

Council is encouraging residents living between St Lawrence and Yeppoon to consider what action they will need to take if the threat of Cyclone Iris increases.

 

Livingstone Mayor Bill Ludwig.
Livingstone Mayor Bill Ludwig. Trish Bowman

Mayor Bill Ludwig, Chair of the Local Disaster Management Group said regular briefings are taking place with the State Disaster Coordination Centre, Emergency Services and Council.

"We are no strangers to natural disaster's here in Livingstone, and we are prepared to respond if required, as the system moves in a south-westerly direction," Mayor Ludwig said.

"As we continue to monitor this situation closely, this is a timely reminder to consider your risk to a cyclone and what you need to do if we are likely to be impacted from such an event.

"The Local Disaster Management Group will continue to work closely with Bureau of Meteorology and all other relevant state agencies to keep the community fully informed."

Council has recently commissioned a new Emergency Management Dashboard with information for the community including Emergency news, road conditions and storm tide hazards.

This website is regularly updated and provides a-one-point-of-information base with links to multiple sites and social media. Visit http://disaster.livingstone.qld.gov.au/ to find out more.

For cyclone preparedness and safety advice, you can also visit Queensland's Disaster Management Services website http://www.disaster.qld.gov.au/  

For emergency assistance, call the Queensland State Emergency Service (SES) on

132 500 (for assistance with storm damage, rising flood water, fallen trees on buildings or roof damage.

12.35pm: IN a weather event that brings back similar conditions to this time last year, St Lawrence braces to bare the tail end of tropical cyclone Iris.

With the top end of Central Queensland already saturated from rain over the Easter weekend, locals are being warned to expect more rain and damaging winds as Cyclone Iris moves south-east along the Queensland coast tomorrow.

Iris, which started at the top end of the state before moving away from the Northern Queensland Coast, strengthened back to cyclone conditions yesterday morning.

Now classed as a category two cyclone, Iris is predicted to reach a category three by Wednesday, bringing with it damaging winds and heavy rainfall.

While the cyclone is not expected to make landfall, a warning has still been issued for areas between Ayr and Mackay with a watch zone in place from Mackay to St Lawrence.

A spokesperson from the Bureau of Meteorology said while Rockhampton would miss out on the "cyclone action", St Lawrence could expect high wind gusts and rainfall.

"St Lawrence has been included in the cyclone watch area and can expect wind gusts of 60km an hour within the next 24 to 48 hours," he said.

"There will be an increase in rain as we move into tomorrow with rainfall developing later today for the Capricorn Coast area, with rainfall already being seen in Byfield."

The only affect Rockhampton will feel from Tropical Cyclone Iris is some rainfall as the system moves south down the coast.

"The rain should come more south with possible rainfalls of 10 to 20mm across Rockhampton and 30 to 40mm for coastal areas heading north towards St Lawrence," the spokesperson said.

Wind wise, heading out on coastal waters along the Capricorn coast there will be some stronger wind conditions.

"Of course all of this depends on the track of the cyclone, whether it moves closer or further away will affect the conditions."

A flood watch between Ayr and St Lawrence has also been issued by the Bureau of Meteorology.



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