Australia: Tropical Cyclone Nora brings flooding rain to northern Queensland

By Kristina Pydynowski, AccuWeather senior meteorologist
By Adam Douty, AccuWeather senior meteorologist
March 26, 2018, 2:24:30 AM EDT

Nora made landfall in northern Queensland as a severe tropical cyclone and will bring dangerous weather through early this week.

Less than 24 hours after developing over the Arafura Sea, Nora intensified into a severe tropical cyclone (the equivalent of a Category 2 hurricane in the Atlantic or eastern Pacific oceans).

Nora rapidly weakened to a tropical rainstorm after moving inland.

Despite weakening, potentially flooding rainfall will continue across northwest Queensland through the beginning of the week.

Dangerous seas will remain across the Gulf of Carpentaria. Those with shipping interests are urged to consider alternate routes and not venture out into these waters. Swimming is discouraged.

Nora 3/25

As the threat for damaging wind diminished as Nora weakens, heavy rainfall will continue across the region and may lead a widespread flood threat across northwest Queensland.

On Sunday, rainfall surpassed 100 mm (4 inches) in Kowanyama and Southwell, both in the Cape York Peninsula in northern Queensland.

In excess of 150 mm (6 inches) of rain fell along the northeast coast of Queensland due to a tropical feed of moisture onto the coast. River levels have risen and several places are reporting minor and moderate flooding.

On Sunday, the water level on the Draintree River increased by about 6 meters (nearly 20 feet).

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Through the beginning of the week, Nora will track slowly to the west and may move into the Gulf of Carpentaria later on Monday and into Tuesday. This would allow Nora to restrengthen, possibly into a Category 1 cyclone, continuing the flooding threat across northwest Queensland.

Communities such as Normanton and the Wellesley Islands will be threatened by flooding rain through Tuesday. The Wellesley Islands may also see a period of strong wind should Nora strengthen.

Heavy rain may also advance into northeast Northern Territory closer to the middle of the week.

National Route 1 and Queensland Route 27, both near the Gulf of Carpentaria, may become impassable for a time into the middle of the week due to flooding.

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