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  • Renee Cluff

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    Monsoon and a possible cyclone to put a dampener on Australia Day long weekend


    Camping trips, backyard cricket games and beach activities will be soggy in Cairns this Australia Day, due to a tropical low which is set to bring heavy rain to the region.

    Up to 300 millimetres is expected to fall between tomorrow and Monday, with up to 120 millimetres of rain predicted for Saturday. 

    Forecaster Kimba Wong from the Bureau of Meteorology told Tropic Now the low could turn into a cyclone from tomorrow.

    “The tropical low is embedded in the monsoon trough on the eastern side of the Gulf of Carpentaria and there’s a 20 to 50 per cent chance it will develop into a cyclone,” she said.

    “But its development and movement at the moment is a little bit uncertain, so it’s difficult to say where it’s going to go.”

    A severe weather warning is already in place for mid to north Cape York, where damaging winds and heavy rainfall is expected.

    Ms Wong said the weather system is also coinciding with a string of king tides.

    “So we do have those king tides and with these kind of tides coming ashore it’s above the abnormal high tide level,” she said.

    “That severe weather is likely to extend further south through the weekend, anywhere north of Cairns and possibly further south through Sunday.”

    The Cairns Regional Council told Tropic Now at this stage, its Australia day activities at Trinity Beach and the Cairns Esplanade are going ahead as planned.

    “If we get a severe weather warning, we’ll re-assess and provide updates via Facebook,” a spokeswoman said.

    A Douglas Shire Council spokesman said its Australia day activities will going ahead, regardless of the weather.

    “We are holding ours at the Port Douglas Community Hall so it will be undercover anyway,” he said.

    Mareeba’s and Atherton’s ceremonies are being held tomorrow night, undercover.

    The Cassowary Coast Regional Council's spokesman said it has a contingency plan for its event at the Mission Beach art centre precinct, with the ceremonies to be moved to a large undercover area if rain persists.

    “Then we’ll all move to the Mission Beach Aquatic Centre for the pool party,” he said.

    Wet weather in that region has already led to a boil water notice being issued for an area covering Feluga in the north, to Tully in the south and west to Jarra Creek.