The Coal Trader

Tropical Cyclone Jasper intensifies into severe storm, could hit Queensland next week

Residents on Queensland‘s east coast are preparing for Tropical Cyclone Jasper, which is predicted to make landfall early next week.

On Wednesday afternoon the storm intensified to a category 3 severe tropical cyclone as it sat 1390 kilometres north-east of Cairns. As it tracks south-west it will intensify further, potentially becoming a category 5 storm on Thursday night, the Bureau of Meteorology warns. Over the weekend the storm is expected to weaken but remain as a cyclone as it nears the coast next week.

“Jasper is forecast to gradually move in a general south-westerly track towards the Queensland coast early next week,” the Bureau of Meteorology said in its latest warning.

“The highest risk of a cyclone impact is in the region north of Mackay, but the timing and severity of the costal impact remains highly uncertain at this stage. ”

Senior meteorologist Laura Boekel said the situation was evolving as forecasters continue to model possible scenarios.

“At this stage it’s still a long lead time away, so we’re not expecting [it to hit] in the next couple of days, as indicated by our official forecast track,” Boekel said.

“However the date of impact is quite variable at this stage and it could be any time from the weekend or into next week as well.”

Residents should keep up to date with the official cyclone forecast track map.

“Any cyclone can cause quite significant impacts along the Queensland eastern areas, including tropical lows,” Boekel said.

“All of these systems can carry a lot of rainfall with them and have potential to cause quite damaging floods.

“So it’s not just the wind that we’re looking out for with those high categories, even though they can be very damaging as well.

“It’s the storm surge as well as the rainfall that can cause flooding.

“So this is a really multi-hazard scenario.”