The Bureau of Meteorology said there was a 20-50 per cent chance ex-tropical cyclone Penny could reform before it crosses the coast. Picture: windy.tv
The Bureau of Meteorology said there was a 20-50 per cent chance ex-tropical cyclone Penny could reform before it crosses the coast. Picture: windy.tv

Penny to cross coast as a low

Ex-tropical Cyclone Penny is on track to reach the Queensland coast today, lashing the Far North with rain when she arrives.

After weakening to below cyclone strength on the weekend, she is expected to cross the coast as a low.

Bureau of Meteorology Weather Services Manager, Dr Richard Wardle, said there was still a moderate chance the low could re-intensify to cyclone strength, but the most likely scenario had it remaining as a low.

"Either way, heavy rainfall and damaging winds will be the main impacts," he said.

"A severe weather warning is in place for coastal regions between Alva Beach and Sarina for damaging winds and heavy rainfall which may lead to flash flooding, particularly over the southern flank of the system.

"Ex-tropical Cyclone Penny is then forecast to move in a northerly direction along the Queensland coast during the week, bringing heavy falls northern coastal catchments which have already experienced recent heavy rain and may be more responsive."

Ex cyclone Penny tracking map Issued at 4:57 am AEST Tuesday 8 January 2019.
Ex cyclone Penny tracking map Issued at 4:57 am AEST Tuesday 8 January 2019.

The system is forecast to bring heavy rain and damaging winds to the central and tropical east coast of Queensland on Tuesday before moving northwest toward the tropical north coast on Thursday.

Though currently out of the firing line, showers of over 100mm are expected for parts of the Far North, which has been battered with record-breaking heat and heavy rain over the past two months.

For Far Northerners who find themselves out and about during the deluge, a Cairns cobbler has some overlooked advice.

Theo's Shoe Hospital owner Monica McLeod said water damage can have a lasting effect on most kinds of footwear.

 

Monica McLeod from Theo's Shoe Hospital. PICTURE: ANNA ROGERS
Monica McLeod from Theo's Shoe Hospital. PICTURE: ANNA ROGERS

 

"A lot of shoes these days aren't made to last long in the water," she said.

"From cheaper stuff like your average sandshoes and thongs, all the way up to expensive leather shoes, if you wear them out in the rain they can get totally wrecked.

"There are specialty shoes that are made for wading in the rain, but honestly my first bit of advice is to go barefoot if you can."

Bureau of Meteorology forecaster James Thompson said while they can't determine where Penny will go after that, the Far North should still brace itself for heavy showers through to end of the week.

"From Wednesday onwards, (the Far North) will start to see an increase in showers and heavy rain as the tropical low moves northwest," he said.

"Ex-tropical Cyclone Penny will increase the moisture in the area, boosting the shower activity and rain as it gets closer to the Cairns region.

"Onshore wind will pick up, strong winds and heavy rain as she gets closer."

Cairns is forecast to receive between 30-80mm of rain on Thursday, while other parts of the Far North such as Innisfail could receive as high as 120mm.

Flood Watch

An initial flood watch has been issued for coastal catchments from St Lawrence to Cape Tribulation including the Cairns region.

River level rises above the minor flood level are possible across the Flood Watch area from today onwards.

Heavy rainfall associated with ex-tropical cyclone Penny is expected to develop over parts of the Central Coast.

Catchments in the Cairns area likely to be affected include:

Daintree River

Mossman River

Barron River

Mulgrave and Russell Rivers

Johnstone River

Tully River


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