Update – Monday 27th March 2017
Cyclone Debbie will be a very dangerous system as it nears landfall over the next 24 to 48 hours. Cyclone Debbie is currently (Monday 10am) a category 2 system, but is expected to intensify to a category 3 system today with the potential of it reaching a category 4 system before making land fall tomorrow (Tuesday) morning. Cyclone Debbie is forecast to make landfall between Rollingstone and Proserpine on Tomorrow (Tuesday) morning.
High tide is at 9am tomorrow morning. This, coupled with the cyclonic conditions will dramatic increase the risk posed by storm surge and result in flooding through the region.
Below is from one of the BoM updates issued Monday (27th) morning.
GALES are now occurring about the Whitsunday Islands, and are expected to extend to the exposed coast and islands elsewhere between Ayr and Mackay this morning. GALES could extend to remaining coastal and adjacent inland areas between Lucinda and St Lawrence later today before potentially extending further north to Cardwell and further west to inland locations such as Charters Towers, Pentland and Mount Coolon on Tuesday.
DESTRUCTIVE WINDS with gusts over 125 km/h may develop about the exposed coast and islands between Ayr and Mackay later this morning or during the afternoon. These DESTRUCTIVE WINDS may extend further north along the coast to Lucinda later today or during Tuesday and to adjacent inland areas, including Collinsville, on Tuesday.
The VERY DESTRUCTIVE CORE of tropical cyclone Debbie is forecast to cross the coast between Townsville and Proserpine on Tuesday morning with wind gusts potentially to 230 km/h near the centre of the system.
Abnormally high tides are expected to occur along the coast between Proserpine and Mackay on the high tides today.
Residents between Lucinda and Mackay are specifically warned of the dangerous storm tide as the cyclone crosses the coast on Tuesday morning. The sea is likely to rise steadily up to a level well above the normal tide, with damaging waves and flooding of some low-lying areas close to the shoreline as the cyclone approaches the coast on Tuesday. Large waves may also develop along the beachfront. People living in areas likely to be affected by this flooding should take measures to protect their property as much as possible and be prepared to follow instructions regarding evacuation of the area if advised to do so by the authorities.
Areas of heavy rain with the potential to cause severe flash flooding are expected to develop about parts of the northern and central Queensland coast and adjacent inland areas later today and continue through Tuesday. Widespread daily rainfall totals of 200 mm, with isolated falls of 400 mm, are also likely to lead to major river flooding over a broad area next week, and a Flood Watch is current for coastal catchments between Cardwell and Gladstone, extending inland to the eastern Gulf River catchments.
Track Cyclone Debbie HERE