The Bureau of Meteorology is predicting the formation of two cyclones this week, one off Western Australia’s north-west coast and the other off far north Queensland.
The bureau said it was likely a tropical low brewing off Western Australia would develop into a cyclone between Wednesday night and Thursday morning, and eventually intensify into a severe system.
It is forecast to bypass the Kimberley, instead impacting on the West Pilbara, Exmouth and Gascoyne regions.
Bureau spokesman Brad Santos said the system could be the first to threaten the West Australian coast this cyclone season.
“It’s been a remarkably quiet season,” he said.
“There have been a couple of tropical lows which have threatened the coast and moved inland and caused heavy rain and flooding, but we are yet to see a tropical cyclone develop off the north-west coast of WA.”
Meanwhile, a low 650km north-east of Cairns is not expected to develop into a cyclone until Thursday.
Senior forecaster Sam Campbell says the low is currently moving east towards Cape York Peninsula.
“(We expect it will) just sit off the coast from Thursday, Friday,” he said.
“There’s a lot of uncertainty beyond Friday exactly where the system is going to go, so we can’t really speculate beyond that, but certainly moving towards the east (coast) over coming days and gales developing along the coast quite likely.”
Disaster authorities in far north Queensland said they were well prepared for a potential cyclone.
Cook Shire Mayor Peter Scott said district disaster management groups across the far north would meet today.
“We’re fully cleaned up from Cyclone Ita that came through in April last year. We’re probably as ready as we can be,” he said.
“It’s the usual operating procedure so that people get their cyclone kits together.”
Residents urged to prepare for severe weather
Queensland Fire and Emergency Services regional director Wayne Coutts said residents should take steps now to ensure they were prepared for potentially severe weather.
“We have had a lot of rain in the region recently. If you have been affected by heavy rain or flooding and live in this area, now is the time to take steps to prepare your property,” Mr Coutts said.
“Prepare your family by ensuring your emergency kit is well stocked with essential supplies including food, water, warm clothes, medications, first aid supplies, important documents, valuables and sleeping gear.
“If you have a smart phone, consider downloading the SES assistance app.
“You can never be too prepared for a severe weather event.”
Mr Coutts said residents affected by flooding should remember: “If it’s flooded, forget it.”
“Entering flooded creeks by foot or by vehicle is an extremely dangerous act,” he said.
“There are so many hidden dangers lurking just below the surface of the water and those, along with the force of the water flow, can carry you away or pull you under at a moment’s notice.
“Parents, please also discourage your children from playing or swimming in flooded creeks and drains. Floodwaters are deadly.”