DISCUSSION: As of this evening (local time in the Central United States), there continues to be a serious and very real threat towards northeastern Australia from what is now a much stronger Tropical Cyclone Debbie. Over the next 12 to 24 hours, this strong tropical cyclone is expected to impact many parts of northeastern Australia (i.e., especially across coastal and semi-inland sections of northeastern Queensland) with strong winds and particularly heavy rainfall. Due to the especially large size of this tropical cyclone's circulation, the primary impact zone from this incoming tropical storm will be very widespread. The major concerns include the possibility of flooding, flash flooding, landslides, and potentially even widespread power outages. As this storm makes landfall in northeastern Queensland by around Monday afternoon (with respect to Australian Eastern Daylight Time), there will also be a threat for a high-impact storm surge which may lead to severe coastal erosion and severe coastal property damage.
The most likely landfall location will be in the vicinity of Mission Beach, Queensland, Australia (which is located approximately 139 km to the south of Cairns, Queensland, Australia or approximately 235 km to the north of Townsville, Queensland, Australia). Thus, this storm will definitively be impacting major population centers across northeastern Australia and even after it begins to move further inland, Debbie will continue to present a major flooding threat across interior sections of northeastern Australia. This is primarily due to the fact that as this tropical storm continues moving inland, it will be dumping a plethora of rainfall over many dry parts of Australian continent which will create a vast amount of regional rainfall water runoff. Hence, this could lead to a large amount of flash flooding since much of the rainfall water will not be able to sufficiently permeate into the ground across northeastern Australia.
To learn more about other high-impact weather events across northeastern Australia, be sure to click here!
©2017 Meteorologist Jordan Rabinowitz