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A tropical cyclone is expected to form off north Queensland tomorrow morning and could reach Category 3 strength as the Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) Townsville radar remains offline

There is a reinforcement depression in the monsoon trough just over 200 kilometers east of Innisfail, and a flood watch has been issued for coastal catchment areas between Cooktown and Rollingstone

The system is expected to develop into a tropical cyclone strength on Tuesday and is called Niran

However, the Townsville BOM radar is offline due to a technical error and remains out of service for days

“Between Cape Flattery and Lucinda there is a tropical cyclone clock that extends inland to Mareeba and Atherton,” said meteorologist Shane Kennedy

“While there are still a number of possible scenarios, a direct coastline crossing is unlikely as the system will most likely meander offshore for a few days and then rapidly move southeast by the end of the week”

He said the cyclone could move close enough to the coast to bring storm winds, heavy rains and unusually high tides into the coastal areas

In the past 24 hours, areas south of Cairns have fallen more than 100 millimeters, and by 1:00 p.m. it was 11000 households without electricity

Fallen power lines closed the Captain Cook Highway for a few hours Monday morning, causing significant traffic delays in the city. The road has since reopened

The Gillies Range, which connects Cairns to the Atherton Tablelands, has also been closed after several traffic disruptions

An emergency alert has been issued to residents of Palm Island asking them to prepare for the tropical low Power outages are already occurring on the island due to fallen trees and power lines

Residents are also asked to fill the containers with clean water in the event of widespread power outages

A number of schools have also closed due to flooding, including Babinda, Murray River, and South Johnstone State Schools

“There is a technical problem with the Townsville radar and it is currently offline,” said a spokesman

“Our technicians are working primarily to fix the problem, warning services and forecasts are not affected”

John Forde, SES area controller for the northern region, said the team had used the radar for operational planning and the crews had already responded to operations

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“Aside from being an inconvenience, it also causes us some operational problems,” he said

“It also helps us plan when we can and when we can’t send crews into the field, and when we know we’ll get more calls when we see these rainbows coming over

“When we have the radar on, we expect some additional calls at certain times of the day”

Townsville Mayor Jenny Hill said “it’s not good enough,” and a cyclone is brewing in the area

“Having service technicians only available in Cairns and Brisbane is a hell of a stretch. It’s ridiculous This state is almost three times the size of Victoria,” she said

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World news – AU – Tropical cyclone is expected to form on Tuesday as technical problems take Townsville radar offline

Source: https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-03-01/qld-tropical-cyclone-niran-tropical-low-weather-bom/13202972