Source: Bureau of Meteorology

Issued at 5:34 pm EST on Saturday 22 February 2020

High chance of tropical cyclone formation over Gulf of Carpentaria waters on Sunday.
Areas Affected:

Warning Zone
Cape Shield to Mornington Island, including Numbulwar, Borroloola, Mornington Island and Sweers Island.

Watch Zone
Mornington Island to Kowanyama, including Burketown and Karumba, and nearby inland areas between Ngukurr and Burketown.

Cancelled Zone
Nhulunbuy to Cape Shield.

Details of Tropical Low at 4:00 pm AEST [3:30 pm ACST]:

Intensity: Tropical Low (1000 hPa), sustained winds near the centre of 35 kilometres per hour with wind gusts to 85 kilometres per hour.

Location: within 45 kilometres of 13.6 degrees South 138.3 degrees East, estimated to be 195 kilometres east northeast of Groote Eylandt and 360 kilometres north northwest of Mornington Island.

Movement: west southwest at 8 kilometres per hour.

The slow-moving tropical low situated over central parts of the Gulf of Carpentaria is rated a medium to high chance of forming into a tropical cyclone on Sunday. The system is expected to remain slow-moving for the remainder of today before adopting a south-southwesterly track towards the southern Gulf of Carpentaria coast on Sunday. At this stage, the system is forecast to intensify into a category 2 tropical cyclone prior to making landfall about the southern Gulf of Carpentaria coast between about Borroloola and Mornington Island on Monday.

GALES with gusts to 110 kilometres per hour may develop over Groote Eylandt and Mornington Island on Sunday afternoon, and extend to coastal communities between Cape Shield and Mornington Island, including Borroloola, Burketown, and nearby inland areas between about Ngukurr and Burketown later on Sunday. GALES may extend to coastal areas between Port Roper and Cape Shield later on Sunday if the system takes a more westward track.

DESTRUCTIVE winds with gusts to 150 km/h are possible between about Borroloola and Mornington Island, including Centre Island on Monday, depending on the future track of the system.

A STORM TIDE between Port McArthur and Karumba is expected as the cyclone centre crosses the coast. Tides are likely to rise significantly above the normal high tide, with DAMAGING WAVES and DANGEROUS FLOODING between Port McArthur and Karumba. ABNORMALLY HIGH TIDES are expected to develop about the southwestern Gulf of Carpentaria coast over the next couple of days. Large waves may produce at least MINOR FLOODING along low-lying coastal areas. People living in areas likely to be affected by this flooding should take measures to protect their property as much as possible and be prepared to help their neighbours.

HEAVY RAIN with the potential to cause flash flooding is expected in areas around the Gulf of Carpentaria over the coming days. Flood Watches are current for Gulf of Carpentaria catchments.
Recommended Action:

In the Northern Territory, NTES advises:

People from Cape Shield to the NT/Qld Border, including Groote Eylandt and surrounding areas should activate their household plan now.

- Start preparations for a cyclone, know where you will shelter.

- Listen for the next advice.

- For cyclone safety and preparation advice

In Queensland:

People between the Northern Territory border and Mornington Island, including Mornington and Sweers Islands, should immediately commence or continue preparations, especially securing boats and property using available daylight hours.

People in remaining areas between Kowanyama and Mornington Island, including Burketown, Karumba, and nearby inland areas between the Northern Territory border and Burketown, should consider what action they will need to take if the cyclone threat increases.

- Information is available from your local government

- For cyclone preparedness and safety advice, visit Queensland's Disaster Management Services website (

- For emergency assistance call the Queensland State Emergency Service (SES) on 132 500 (for assistance with storm damage, rising flood water, fallen trees on buildings or roof damage).

Current Tropical Cyclones