Australia Weather News

A cyclone watch is in place for Gulf of Carpentaria communities between Aurukun and Karumba, including Mornington Island, as a tropical low moves slowly towards the Queensland coast.

The latest advice from the Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) said the low was expected to remain slow moving off the western Cape York Peninsula and develop into a tropical cyclone — to be called Lucas — on Wednesday or Thursday.

A severe weather warning has been issued for abnormally high tides and damaging winds, with peak gusts of up to 100 kilometres per hour possible about the western Cape York Peninsula coastal areas between Weipa and Pormpuraaw on Tuesday.

The damaging wind gusts may extend to Thursday Island and to inland areas of Cape York Peninsula, depending on the movement and intensity of the tropical low.

BOM forecaster Rosa Hoff said "squally" rain bands with thunderstorms were expected to affect the western side.

"It is likely to stay in a similar position as it intensifies to category two," Ms Hoff said.

"The system should remain slow moving in the south-eastern region of the Gulf of Carpentaria for several days, beyond that there are a range of possible scenarios including crossing over Cape York Peninsula or heading towards the Northern Territory.

"This system is likely to have a significant impact on the environment around it, bringing conditions like heavy rainfall, abnormally high tides, and strong winds — potentially even gales — to the area."

Ms Hoff said heavy rainfall was possible for western parts of the Peninsula, with a potential of up to 200 millimetres per day, over a number of days.

There are also warnings for tidal surges due to the increased rainfall and strong winds brought by the tropical low.

People between Aurukun and Karumba and on Mornington Island should consider what action they will need to take if the cyclone threat increases, the BOM warned.

It would be the fourth cyclone of the season to develop in Australia this season.