By ERWIN CHLANDA
Alice Springs could be in for downpours of 30mm to 50mm with a likelihood of the Todd River flash flooding on the weekend in the wake of a cyclone currently in the Gulf of Carpentaria.
Victoria-based independent weather forecaster Dennis Luke gave the Alice Springs News Online a map (pictured) from a reputable meteorological office which he asked to not have named, showing massive rainfalls at 10am on Sunday.
Preceding images the News has seen show several smaller storms starting from where Tropical Cyclone Trevor will make landfall. They consolidate as they are moving south-west into a single rain cell over The Alice.
The town’s coordinates are 23.6980° S, 133.8807° E.
Mr Luke says he is not a professional but over 22 years has predicted drought, storms and floods.
He believes the cyclone, mixed in with the monsoon, will become a tropical depression as the system travels over land.
The most recent very large rainfall with serious flooding was in 1988 (at left – looking north-east from the western flank of The Gap).
This is how Meteorologist Grace Legge of the Australian Bureau of Meteorology describes the weather ahead:-
“There is a tropical cyclone watch from Nhulunbuy to the NT / Qld border including Groote Island where gale force winds in excess of 65 km/hr can be expected from Friday.
“Wind gusts to 120km/hr are expected to develop on Groote Island from Friday morning and extend to the mainland coast between Cape Shield and the NT Border later Friday.
“Gales could also extend further north to Nhulunbuy on Friday if the cyclone takes a more northerly track,” says Ms Legge, from the bureau’s NT Regional Office.
“Depending on the movement of the system, very destructive winds with gusts to 250 km/hr, heavy rainfall and very dangerous storm tides are expected near the centre of the system as it approaches and crosses the NT coast.
“Once the system has moved inland it will weaken but could maintain tropical cyclone intensity for over 24hrs as it continues to move further inland.
“This system is likely to bring significant rainfall with it, daily falls of 100-200mm are possible at Groote Eylandt and through the Carpentaria district as the system approaches and makes landfall.
“Heavier falls of 200-300mm are possible around the core of the system.
“The area of heavy rainfall will be highly dependent on the movement of the system and where it directly impacts the coast.
“Heavy rainfall and strong winds are likely to continue inland and may impact the Barkly district this weekend and early next week.”
The Barkly isn’t quite Alice Springs, so we’ll wait and see.
By ERWIN CHLANDA