Authorities now believe Severe Tropical Cyclone Nora will cross the Queensland coast some time shortly after midday (AEST) on Sunday afternoon as a category three system.
At an emergency briefing in Brisbane on Saturday afternoon, Bureau of Meteorology forecaster Bruce Gunn said it was expected to cross the coast somewhere between Pompuraaw and the Gilbert River Mouth.
“The good news, if I can make any good news out of this story, is that we’re no longer expecting a category four system to affect the Gulf but it’s still a very severe category three system with very destructive winds at its core,” Mr Gunn said.
A satellite view of Tropical Cyclone Nora over the Gulf of Carpentaria on Saturday morning. (Supplied: BOM)
“Severe Tropical Cyclone Nora is a category three system with wind gusts estimated to be 195 kilometres per hour near the centre.
“The very destructive core of winds is roughly about 100 kilometres wide … it’s a large cross-section of very destructive winds that’s going to affect that part of the coast.”
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk urged all families in the areas affected to take it seriously.
“We are asking community members to move into stronger housing, that means housing that is above the storm tide area in some communities, but also too homes that are built post 1982,” she said.
“Once you are in your homes this evening, you should not leave your homes.
“The winds are going to pick up in those communities and we want you to remain safe.
“Even though some of these communities are a long way apart from us here, we are all in this together and as Queenslanders we are not leaving any community alone.”
More to come.