Tropical Cyclone Anggrek has formed near the Cocos Islands
Cyclone Anggrek has formed off the Cocos Islands and is gaining strength as it approaches Australia. Image by HANDOUT/BUREAU OF METEOROLOGY
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More cyclone threats emerge for northern Australia

January 16, 2024

Another cyclone threat is looming, with rain set to lash Australia’s flood-hit regions for days.

The Australian mainland is not expected to be impacted by Tropical Cyclone Anggrek, which has formed in the Indian Ocean and is set to become a category two system by Wednesday.

A cyclone watch has been issued for the Cocos Islands, about 4000km off Western Australia, with Anggrek set to enter Australian waters this week.

However, the Australian coast may still be impacted by another system with a cyclone set to emerge in Queensland’s far north.

The region is still recovering from record flooding caused by Cyclone Jasper last month, with rain hampering progress.

The devastated region’s recovery effort may be further delayed after a tropical low developed off Cairns.

It is a high chance of developing into a tropical cyclone before strengthening even further.

“There is a chance that the system will develop into a severe tropical cyclone early next week,” the Bureau of Meteorology said.

The low is set to track away from the Queensland coast this week.

But it might start moving back toward the far north next week after becoming a cyclone, the bureau warned.

Showers still plague the region as it recovers from Jasper, with widespread falls of more than 100mm recorded across much of tropical northern Australia.

Coomera River in flood in southeast Queensland.
 Parts of northern Australia that are already battling floods are due to be hit with more rain. Image by Dave Hunt/AAP PHOTOS 

More rain is forecast with a flood watch for Cape York and parts of the Gulf of Carpentaria.

Another rebuilding region – Queensland’s southeast – has been drenched with falls of more than 100mm, with three people rescued from their car amid flash flooding on the Sunshine Coast.

The state’s southeast is still recovering after seven people died in storm-related incidents over the Christmas period with about 130,000 homes losing power.

Flood warnings have also been issued for the Northern Territory as another tropical low lingers.

The Top End’s northwest corner copped widespread 100mm falls and strong winds with the Adelaide River south of Darwin recording 140mm.

The tropical low off the NT is set to shift south and head inland, with no cyclone threat imminent.

There is a severe weather warning for heavy rainfall and damaging winds of up to 90km/h for the NT’s northwest.

There is plenty more rain around, with a band of storms stretching from southern inland NSW and across central South Australia.

In the past 24 hours, there have been severe thunderstorms at Mount Gambier, SA, as well as across northern NSW and southeast Queensland.

The most significant storm activity on Tuesday was through southern parts of NSW and Victoria’s northwest.

The nation’s west faced its own battering as severe thunderstorms and hail tore through the Wheatbelt and Perth Hills.

Almost 28mm of rain fell in 30 minutes in Lake Chittering while about 27,000 homes and businesses lost power.