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Top Enders brace for wet, windy weather as Ex-Tropical Cyclone Tiffany crosses NT coast

By Alicia Perera and Lauren Roberts, Wednesday January 12, 2022 - 09:25 AEDT
ABC image
Tropical Cyclone Tiffany is expected to make landfall in the Northern Territory today.  - ABC

Ex-Tropical Cyclone Tiffany crossed the eastern Top End coast as a category 1 system but has now been downgraded a tropical low.


Forecasters are now warning Top End residents to brace for heavy rainfall.


"Although the cyclone threat is easing, heavy rainfall, flooding and damaging winds remain hazards right across the Top End for the remainder of this week and into the weekend," the Bureau of Meteorology's Jude Scott said.


"Daily rainfall totals of 50 to 100 millimetres of forecast with more than 200 millimetres a possibility in some locations close to the system."


The system is now moving west over the Top End, with sustained winds of 95 kilometres per hour.


Ms Scott said Tiffany was forecast to "track quite quickly" across the base of the Top End, bringing strong winds and heavy rainfall. 


"The Top End community should be prepared for wet and windy conditions and flash flooding as we move into a vigorous active monsoon phase for the remainder of this week and into the weekend," she said. 


"Rivers right across the Top End will rise in response to this heavy rainfall."


Flood watches have been issued for the Carpentaria, North West and Bonaparte coastal rivers.


Additional flood warnings, severe weather warnings and severe thunderstorm warnings are expected to be issued in the coming days.


NT Police Assistant Commissioner Janelle Tonkin said current modelling showed the Katherine River could reach a moderate level, which wouldn't trigger an evacuation of the town's residents.


No damage for Groote Eylandt


Assistant Commissioner Tonkin said Tropical Cyclone Tiffany had now passed Groote Eylandt, with no injuries to people nor property reported.


"There was a little bit of power that was lost in those communities, but that's been restored," she said.


There's also been no injuries to people or infrastructure in the communities of Numbulwar and Ngukurr, Assistant Commissioner Tonkin added, although both were now experiencing "fairly wet and windy conditions".


At the moment, she said, modelling did not indicate that an evacuation would be needed in any Top End community. 


However, she added, as the system moved, police would continue to monitor rainfall in the Big Rivers catchment area, and this advice could change.


Assistant Commissioner Tonkin said there were COVID-19 positive people in communities right across the Territory, which meant COVID-safe plans were in place for shelters. 


"We have adopted a model that will ensure that those [who] need to isolate are able to isolate in their homes," she said.


"So, as the cyclone and weather event has progressed, all of those people have been able to safely isolate and not expose anybody else in the community."


Darwin likely records coldest January day


For those in Darwin, Ms Scott said, today could be "the coldest January day on record".


"At midday the temperature was just 22.8 degrees Celsius which is almost three degrees less than the previous coldest recorded day on January 1989," she said.


The previous record was 25.7C.


Ms Scott said people in Darwin could expect cooler temperatures and lots of rain in the next few days.


"The totals that we're forecasting are between 50 and 150 millimetres as daily totals and there's the chance of up to 200 millimetres in some locations,? she said.


Assistant Commissioner Tonkin urged motorists to make sure their headlights were on, to slow down, and to not cross any flooded river crossings.







- ABC

© ABC 2022

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