BoM says no need for panic over possible cyclone

CYCLONIC FORCE: A view of a developing tropical cyclone from space.
CYCLONIC FORCE: A view of a developing tropical cyclone from space.

STORM chasers are comparing a potential cyclone forming off the coast to cyclone Yasi, but the Bureau of Meteorology says there is no need for panic on the Fraser Coast.

Weather watchers Higgins Storm Chasing predict a low forming in the Coral Sea could become a tropical cyclone, but BoM said there was at the most a 20% chance of this happening.

BoM meteorologist Chris Joseph said the biggest risk to the Fraser Coast was potentially strong winds of up to 20 knots over the weekend.

"If that low pressure system does develop and come south - and some models do have that moving south - it could increase winds towards the end of the week, and that has the effect of picking up shower activity," Mr Joseph said.

The BoM is predicting a maximum of 20mm of rain to fall in the area this week, provided the low moves away.

"It's just a matter of waiting right now," Mr Joseph said.

A statement on the BoM website said the low did not pose a threat to the Queensland coast.

However Thomas Hinterdorfer from Higgins Storm Chasing said this could change.

"Yasi was a very similar case," Mr Hinterdorfer said.

"It could go west or south-east yet."

Ex-tropical cyclone Yasi hit Queensland as a category five system on February 3, 2011, causing wind damage and flash flooding on the Fraser Coast.

Mr Hinterdorfer said the way the Coral Sea low was tracking had similarities to Yasi.

"It's exceptional for a cyclone to move straight west," he said.

"This one has ridging and other elements that indicate it may also go west, we're   

reminded of Yasi when looking at it."

Tropical cyclones

Severe cyclones can generate wind speeds of more than 280km/h.

A cyclone's eye diameter can be as large as 100km across.

Topics:  bureau of meteorlogy cyclone yasi fraser coast higgins storm chasers

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