The dangers to lives and property are expected to expand well away from where Severe Tropical Cyclone Trevor makes a dangerous strike on Australia’s Northern Territory early this weekend.
After making landfall on the Cape York Peninsula on Tuesday, Trevor will strengthen rapidly over the warm waters of the Gulf of Carpentaria late this week.
By the start of the weekend, Trevor may be a powerful Category 4 tropical cyclone (the equivalent of a Category 4 major hurricane in the Atlantic Ocean).
Dangerous seas will be stirred in the Gulf of Carpentaria as Trevor strengthens, creating conditions too hazardous for swimmers and boaters to enter the water.
Trevor will blast onto the remote coast of the northeastern Northern Territory on Saturday with destructive winds and flooding rain. An inundating storm surge will occur near and east of where the cyclone slams onshore.
Residents of Borroloola should prepare for major damage to well-built homes, widespread tree damage and prolonged power cuts. Venturing out during the height of the storm is not recommended as flying debris could cause bodily harm or death.
This satellite image shows both Trevor and Veronica churning near northern Australia on Thursday, March 21, 2019. (CIRA/Himawari)
Once Trevor is on land and away from water (its fuel source), its powerful winds will quickly weaken. 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 northeastern South Australia and southern Queensland Sunday and into Tuesday.
Rainfall along this swath can total 100-200 mm (4-8 inches) with an AccuWeather Local StormMax™ of 300 mm (12 inches).
In the desert locations such as Birdsville, 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.
Residents and motorists should avoid these areas and evacuate to safe locations if your home is in a danger area.
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The flooding and mudslides may lead to road closures and damaged bridges.
“Trevor’s moisture and downpours may get pulled southeastward into northern New South Wales and southern Queensland, including Brisbane and perhaps Sydney, later next week,” according to AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Jason Nicholls.
Worse than causing disruptions to travel and outdoor activities, the most persistent downpours can trigger flash flooding.
On the other side of Australia, Severe Tropical Cyclone Veronica is expected to threaten residents along the Pilbara coast later this weekend.
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