Cyclone Yasi is bearing down on Queensland hot on the heels of much-smaller Cyclone Athony, due to hit the coast overnight.
Cyclone Yasi is bearing down on Queensland hot on the heels of much-smaller Cyclone Athony, due to hit the coast overnight. GOOGLE EARTH

Double cyclone trouble on the way

FRASER COAST residents have been urged to prepare as a huge cyclone intensifies near Vanuatu.

As Tropical Cyclone Anthony crossed the North Queensland coast, Bureau of Meteorology forecasters said far more severe Cyclone Yasi was developing rapidly in the Coral Sea.

Senior Bureau of Meteorology forecaster Gordon Banks said residents between Cooktown and Hervey Bay should be making preparations for strong-to-gale force winds.

“It's a wide warning area but this is a significant system,” Mr Banks said.

“By Wednesday we can expect strong winds and gales from Hervey Bay north.

“It's still a long way out but we will be monitoring this cyclone very closely.”

Mr Banks said the system was expected to continue intensifying rapidly and be classified a severe category 3 or 4 cyclone by Tuesday evening.

It is expected to cross the coast later in the week, most likely on Thursday.

Due to the unpredictable nature of cyclones, no one knows for certain where the storm will hit – but experts agree it will have a large footprint.

Meteorologist Josh Fisher from Weatherzone said much of the state would be affected by Yasi.

He said Weatherzone staff was surprised to see all computer models agreeing on the cyclone's intensity.

“A broad area of the state should now be making preparations,” Mr Fisher said.

“This is a huge system and will affect a large portion of the state.”

“It is currently gaining a lot of energy from warm Coral Sea waters,” he said.



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