Weather News

Ex-Tropical Cyclone Iris refuses to give up

Craig McIntosh, Saturday March 31, 2018 - 14:54 AEDT

A tropical low, formally known as Tropical Cyclone Iris, keeps spinning off the Queensland coast and may well keep doing so for at least another week.

Fortunately for many already saturated parts of eastern Queensland, Ex-Tropical Cyclone Iris lost its Tropical Cyclone status well before it began approaching the coast. However, it will still deliver heavy, flooding rain to many areas over the coming days.

As is common with complex systems like this, weather models disagree on things like movement speed and direction, which in turn creates uncertainty on just where and when the heaviest rain will fall.

All models agree that multiple days of heavy rain leading to flash and riverine flooding is very likely. The locations of the heaviest rain, at this stage, could be anywhere between the North Tropical Coast & Tablelands and Wide Bay & Burnett regions. It is highly likely that the North Tropical Coast & Tablelands, Herbert & Lower Burdekin and Central Coast regions will receive at least some very heavy rain over the coming four days. Monday, Tuesday and possibly Wednesday look to be the wettest, with daily falls of 100-200mm over a wide area of the coast and adjacent inland, whilst some places may receive well over 300mm in a day.

People in affected areas should start to notice the rain on Sunday, which will be a prelude to the heavier falls due from Monday onwards. Currently, a Flood Watch is in place for coastal catchments between Cairns and Burnett Heads. Even though Ex-Tropical Cyclone Iris is no longer a cyclone, the system is still producing gusty winds, and a Strong Wind Warning exists for the Cairns Coast, Townsville Coast, Mackay Coast and Capricornia Coast.

As mentioned earlier, complex systems like this tropical low make it hard for models to pinpoint their future movements, and some models actually have the tropical low heading back out over the Coral Sea after it delivers its unwanted gifts. There is a low chance Iris may regain its Tropical Cyclone status way out to sea over a week from now, however model uncertainty is very high that far ahead. It appears this system will maintain the attention of Queenslanders and meteorologists alike over the coming week.

- Weatherzone

© Weatherzone 2018

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