Cyclone Savannah could form by Australia Day

A TROPICAL low off the Far North Queensland coast now has a moderate chance of developing into Tropical Cyclone Savannah on Friday or Saturday.

A weak monsoon trough extends across the northern Top End and Northern Cape York Peninsula, the Bureau of Meteorology's cyclone outlook says.

"A tropical low currently lies embedded within the trough near the Cape York Peninsula. This low is expected to move slowly southwest or southeast over coming days, and is likely to develop if over water."

Likelihood of this system being a tropical cyclone in the Northern Region:

  • Thursday: Low.
  • Friday: Moderate.
  • Saturday: Moderate.

Cyclone Riley officially formed at 8am Thursday off the Western Australian coast, west of Broome.

It's forecast to intensify to a category 3 system by Australia Day, and at this stage no land crossing is forecast.

There's a 50% chance of Cyclone Savannah forming in the Gulf of Carpentaria Friday or Saturday.
There's a 50% chance of Cyclone Savannah forming in the Gulf of Carpentaria Friday or Saturday.


Oz Cyclone Chasers says the low is set to track south and is likely to bring some significant falls to North Queensland over the Australia Day long weekend.

"Today and tomorrow will see this confined mostly north of Cairns, until Saturday and Sunday sees a southward shift to areas predominantly north of Ayr," Oz Cyclone Chasers said on Facebook.

"At this stage we are unsure on how far south heavy rainfall will impact, it is entirely dependent on the movement of the low. Furthermore to that, exact totals are extremely hard to forecast at this stage as well due to not knowing if it will shift in a SSE or SSW direction. This will also be crucial in the coming days."

Bureau of Meteorology forecaster Mark Trenorden said it was uncertain exactly where the monsoon trough would travel.

"At the moment there is a developing monsoon trough in the Torres Strait. We're expecting some heavy falls to develop around the northern peninsula, possibly down through the tropical coast on Thursday and Friday, with the heaviest falls north of Hinchinbrook," Mr Trenorden said.


Official forecast


  • Friday: Shower or two, 3-10mm
  • Saturday: Shower or two, 1-6mm
  • Sunday: Showers, 15-50mm
  • Monday: Shower or two, 4-25mm
  • Tuesday: Shower or two, 2-25mm
  • Wednesday: Shower or two, 1-15mm



  • Friday: Shower or two, 0-5mm
  • Saturday: Possible shower, 0-2mm
  • Sunday: Showers, 6-30mm
  • Monday: Shower or two, 0-20mm
  • Tuesday: Possible shower, 0-10mm
  • Wednesday: Possible shower, 0-3mm



  • Friday: Shower or two, 5-10mm
  • Saturday: Showers, 5-30mm
  • Sunday: Showers, possible storm, 30-90mm
  • Monday: Showers, possible storm, 15-50mm
  • Tuesday: Shower or two, possible storm, 10-50mm
  • Wednesday: Shower or two, 5-35mm


Charters Towers

  • Friday: Partly cloudy
  • Saturday: Partly cloudy
  • Sunday: Shower or two, 1-10mm
  • Monday: Cloudy, 0-2mm
  • Tuesday: Partly cloudy, 0-2mm
  • Wednesday: Cloudy, 0-0.4mm

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