Satellite imagery shows the scale of Tropical Cyclone Owen.
Satellite imagery shows the scale of Tropical Cyclone Owen. Bureau of Meteorology

Owen now not expected to reach southeast, but then again...

THE volume of rain expected to fall over the Gympie region has been significantly downgraded and a slowing Severe Tropical Cyclone Owen was last night not expected to make landfall until today.

Owen was a Category 3 strength system in the Gulf of Carpentaria last night and forecast to continue on a generally easterly track, intensifying to Category 4 strength before making landfall today.

Bureau of Meteorology forecasters have warned that the Gympie region could cop "potentially severe thunderstorms" over the weekend and early next week as Tropical Cyclone Owen continues its slow approach.

Slow-moving Tropical Cyclone Owen's slow passage back across the Gulf of Carpentaria has thrown doubt over weekend weather forecasts. But the BOM has warned conditions here would remain unstable with the chance of severe thunderstorms.
Slow-moving Tropical Cyclone Owen's slow passage back across the Gulf of Carpentaria has thrown doubt over weekend weather forecasts. But the BOM has warned conditions here would remain unstable with the chance of severe thunderstorms.

The BoM said "not a lot of change" had come from previous Gympie forecasts.

BoM forecaster Amber Raman said "unstable air mass" would potentially exacerbate rainfall and thunderstorms forecasted for today and tomorrow.

Sunday night and Monday morning is when the Capricornia Coast is expected to be impacted by the tropical low that was Tropical Cyclone Owen. GYmpie region rainfalls have been downsized.
Sunday night and Monday morning is when the Capricornia Coast is expected to be impacted by the tropical low that was Tropical Cyclone Owen. GYmpie region rainfalls have been downsized. Bureau of Meteorology

She said Gympie and the wider region was at "increased risk of severe storms", which would potentially bring heavy rainfall with them.

"Reasonable dumps" of rainfall had already created localised flash flooding to the north, and Ms Raman said Gympie could see similar patterns develop depending on the conditions.

Tropical Cyclone Owen is tracking east over the Gulf of Carpentaria today and is expected to strengthen into a category four cyclone by 1pm today.
Tropical Cyclone Owen is tracking east over the Gulf of Carpentaria today and is expected to strengthen into a category four cyclone by 1pm today. Bureau of Meteorology

Bureau of Meteorology Weather Services Manager, Dr Richard Wardle, said Cyclone Owen had slowed down and remained virtually stationary on the Northern Territory coast for several hours yesterday, before turning back to the east under the influence of a mid-level trough and upper low over southeastern Australia.

"Due to this slow-down, Cyclone Owen is now likely to cross the Queensland coast on the western Cape York Peninsula later than initially anticipated, most likely early Saturday morning before moving in a southeasterly direction, rapidly weakening over land.

Cyclone graphic
Cyclone graphic robinsonm

"While the system will weaken to a low over land, damaging to destructive winds will continue for several hundred kilometres inland as will areas of very heavy rainfall near the low,” he said. 

A Flood Watch remains in place for a very broad area extending from the Gulf of Carpentaria and southern Cape York Peninsula to coastal catchments from Cape Tribulation to Rainbow Beach. Some of these catchments have already seen significant recent rainfall when the low crossed the far north Queensland coast from the Coral Sea. 

"Forecast models generally bring the system down Queensland's east coast, but not as far as southeast Queensland. Impacts may include very heavy rainfall with the potential for flash flooding with damaging to destructive winds possible. 

"There is also a moderate chance that Owen will re-develop into a tropical cyclone in the Coral Sea on Sunday or Monday if it moves over water. 

"This dynamic weather situation is compounded by severe thunderstorms for large areas of eastern Queensland, with the potential for heavy rainfall due to the very moist tropical airmass in place and the upper low over New South Wales.”

Gympie Times


WIN: Tickets to the Vodaphone Gold Coast 600

WIN: Tickets to the Vodaphone Gold Coast 600

It's time to party in paradise. Will you be there?

Coffs Coast home cook realises her dream of writing a book

premium_icon Coffs Coast home cook realises her dream of writing a book

SANDY Luhrs said she first fell in love with cooking as child.