Tropical Cyclone Iris to batter Queensland coast with flooding rain, rough surf
By Eric Leister, AccuWeather senior meteorologist
April 04, 2018, 7:58:17 AM EDT
Tropical Cyclone Iris sprung back to life on Monday off the coast of Queensland, after losing its tropical characteristics last week.
The rejuvenated tropical cyclone will pack a punch as it lashes coastal areas from Ayr to Sunshine Coast this week.
The cyclone is currently a Category 1 storm on the Australian Cyclone scale, equal to a tropical storm in the Atlantic Ocean.
Iris began to weaken on Wednesday and further weakening is expected in the coming days as the cyclone becomes a tropical low once again.
The meandering tropical cyclone has already brought heavy rain and gusty winds to parts of the Queensland coastline.
Locations around Mackay were hardest hit with more than 150 mm (6 inches) from Sunday into Tuesday.
The heaviest rainfall shifted northward on Wednesday as 50-100 mm (2-4 inches) was reported from Preston to Bowen.
Wind gusts up to 126 km/h (78 mph) have been reported offshore with gale-force winds at the coast and on some offshore islands.
Additional rounds of heavy rainfall and gusty winds are expected through Friday as the cyclone drifts southeast, then stalls and turns toward the coastline.
The hardest-hit areas are expected to be from Bowen southward through Mackay.
These areas can expect additional rainfall amounts of 75-150 mm (3-6 inches) through Friday with local amounts over 200 mm (8 inches).
Dangerous flooding, travel disruptions and local power outages are all possible in these areas.
Outside of this area, daily showers and thunderstorms will dampen areas as far north as Townsville and as far south as Brisbane.
Locally heavy downpours can cause brief travel disruptions from Rockhampton to Sunshine Coast and result in rainfall up to 25 mm (1 inch) in a short time period.
Areas along the central and southern Queensland coast that are spared any significant rain and wind will still have to endure rough seas and dangerous rip currents at beaches this week.
In the longer range, Iris is expected to track toward the Queensland coastline; however, it will also remain a weak tropical low, bringing only a small threat for damaging winds along its path.
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