Staff writers

Email Staff writers

Cairns hit by 'mini-cyclone' in wild night of tropical weather


Trees were knocked to the ground, power was cut and residents were up at all hours battening down the hatches in a wild night of wind in Cairns.

Cairns was hit by wind gusts estimated to be up to 75 km/h last night, with residents taking to social media to describe it as a "mini-cyclone".

A Category 1 cyclone is classified as having wind gusts of between 100 and 125 km/h.

The crazy weather was caused by a phenomenon called katabatic winds, or downslope winds flowing from higher elevation points to valleys below.

Bill O'Connor from the Bureau of Meteorology told TropicNow strong winds on the Tablelands accelerated as they headed down the range.

"An area like Redlynch would've particularly felt it because of its topography and the way the ranges form a bit of a funnel," he said.

"The Northern Beaches also would have been impacted more than other places because the hills are so close to the coast."

Police advise that Roadtek crews are currently working to clear fallen trees on rhe Captain Cook Highway, Oak Beach and The Kennedy Highway, Upper Barron (Between Atherton and Ravenshoe).

The roundabout at McGregor Rd and The Captain Cook Highway, Smithfield is partially closed with one lane open as a result of fallen powerlines.