Australia: Trevor moves inland across the Northern Territory bringing widespread flooding threat

By Kristina Pydynowski, AccuWeather senior meteorologist
By Adam Douty, AccuWeather senior meteorologist
March 25, 2019, 4:20:56 AM EDT

As Veronica threatens to cause a flood disaster in northwestern Australia, the dangers to lives and property are expected to expand well inland from where Trevor made landfall on Australia's Northern Territory.

After making landfall on the Cape York Peninsula last Tuesday, Trevor rapidly strengthened into a powerful Category 4 severe tropical cyclone (the equivalent of a Category 4 major hurricane in the Atlantic Ocean) over the warm waters of the Gulf of Carpentaria.

Trevor maintained this strength as it made a second landfall on the Northern Territory on Saturday morning, local time.

Trevor's dangers prompted a state of emergency to be declared in the Northern Territory, according to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC). The largest mass evacuation in the state since Cyclone Tracy in 1974 was performed by the Australian Defence Force.

Many residents of Groote, Eylandt and Borroloola were transported by aircraft to Darwin. Other people have been transported out of the area by bus.

trevor 3/25

Trevor's winds have weakened since the storm moved inland. The dangers in terms of flooding, however, will not lessen.

Heavy rain from Trevor is anticipated to sweep across more of the Northern Territory and into southern Queensland into Tuesday.

Rainfall along this swath can total 100-200 mm (4-8 inches) with an AccuWeather Local StormMax™ of 300 mm (12 inches).

3/24 trevor

In the desert locations such as Boulia, these totals would mean that a nearly a year's worth of rain can pour down in one to two days.

With the soil unable to absorb that much rain, the rapid runoff can lead to major flooding. Canyons and normally dry washes or arroyos can suddenly fill with fast-flowing water, threatening to sweep away anyone or thing in its path. Mudslides can be triggered along hillsides.

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Residents and motorists should avoid these areas and evacuate to safe locations if their home is in a danger area.

The flooding and mudslides may lead to road closures and damaged bridges.

The river channels recently filled up with water as runoff from the flooding rain earlier this winter flowed down into the region.

Trevor's moisture and downpours may get pulled southeastward into southern Queensland through this week.

Eventually, some of this moisture may enhance rainfall around Brisbane later in the week, though the flood threat will be significant reduced.

Trevor first slammed the Cape York Peninsula earlier this week, causing damage to some homes, power cuts and flooding. The entire communities of Coen and Lockhart River lost power during the storm.

Lockhart River Mayor Wayne Butcher found it ironic that his home was the only one in the town damaged by the cyclone, according to ABC.

On the other side of Australia, Severe Tropical Cyclone Veronica threatens to cause a flood disaster along a part of the Pilbara coast into early this week.

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