I am starting to feel like a broken record. Remember Cyclone Glenda that struck Western Australia? Cyclone Hubert that followed directly behind Glenda?How about Floyd that came to the same area a few days before? Or Category 5 Cyclone Larry that struck Queensland a week before that? You guessed it, Australia has another tropical cyclone on the way.
Cyclone Monica is taking aim directly at Queensland and may actually emerge over the ocean on the other side. At this point a direct landfall is looking very likely.
Monica is already a Category 2 cyclone and is continuing to strengthen. The Bureau of Meteorology's official forecast calls for Monica to be a category 3 cyclone at landfall, although she could certainly be stronger. In anticipation of a landfall Wednesday morning local time, watches and warnings are already in effect for much of northern Queensland.
Satellite imagery of the cyclone remains unimpressive at first glance, but it is important to note that the cyclone is continuing to strengthen. A strong central core of convection is already present and an eye is expected to soon form. As soon as an eye is present, the appearance of the cyclone should change drastically.
Here is the latest advisory from the Bureau of Meteorology
TROPICAL CYCLONE ADVICE NUMBER 6
Issued by the Bureau of Meteorology, Brisbane
Issued at 11:12am on Tuesday the 18th of April 2006
A CYCLONE WARNING is current for coastal and island communities between Torres Strait and Cape Flattery, extending across Cape York Peninsula to all areas north of Pormpuraaw.
A CYCLONE WATCH is current south to a line from Cooktown on the east coast to Kowanyama on the west coast.
At 10 am EST, Tropical Cyclone Monica, Category 2, was centred near latitude 12.9 south longitude 147.8 east, which is 400 km kilometres northeast of Cooktown and 470 km east of Lockhart River. The cyclone is moving west at about 14 km/h.
Tropical Cyclone Monica is expected to intensify further and continue moving on a general westward track over the next 24 to 48 hours. DESTRUCTIVE WINDS with gusts to 130 km/h may develop between Cape Melville and Cape Flattery including Lizard Island this evening, and should extend onto the coast between Torres Strait and Cape Flattery from early Wednesday.
The VERY DESTRUCTIVE core of Monica with wind gusts up to 200 km/hr is expected to be near the coast between Cape Grenville and Cape Melville on Wednesday morning.
Tropical Cyclone Monica is expected to continue moving west and cross the northern Cape York Peninsula on Wednesday evening and move into the Gulf of Carpentaria overnight on Wednesday.
Details of Tropical Cyclone Monica, Category 2, for 10 am EST Tuesday.
Central Pressure : 980 Hectopascals
Location of Centre : within 40 kilometres of
latitude 12.9 degrees south
longitude 147.8 degrees east
470 km east of Lockhart River.
Recent Movement : West at 14 kilometres per hour
Destructive winds : out to 110 kilometres from the centre
Maximum wind gusts : 160 kilometres per hour, and INTENSIFYING.
People in communities in Torres Strait and over Cape York Peninsula north of a line from Pormpuraaw to Cape Flattery should commence or continue preparations especially attempting to secure boats and property.
People in the watch area should consider what action they will need to take if the cyclone threat increases and listen to the next advice at 2pm EST Tuesday.
If you are unsure about actions to be taken, information is available from your local Police or State Emergency Service personnel.