Severe weather is expected to continue in eastern parts of the Top End on Tuesday as a tropical depression continues to move across the region towards the Gulf of Carpentaria.
- A tropical depression moves east across the Top End
- The system brings heavy rain, strong winds, high tides and flooding to communities in its path
- Conditions are expected to ease in the west on Tuesday and in the east the following day
The Bureau of Meteorology NT (BOM NT) has issued a severe weather warning for the eastern parts of Daly, Tiwi, Arnhem and Carpentaria districts.
The tropical depression is the same one that was expected to become a tropical cyclone on Boxing Day, but didn’t, and helped Darwin record its coldest Christmas day on record.
BOM NT Service Forecaster Moses Raico said the low was currently located over the southern Arnhem district.
“It is expected to push further east later in the day, and maybe by tonight it could push into the Gulf of Carpentaria,” he said.
A first minor flood warning was issued for the Katherine River last night, while a warning for the Waterhouse River was upgraded to moderate flood level on Tuesday morning.
A severe weather warning is also in place for coastal parts of Arnhem and Carpentaria districts for abnormally high tides and damaging waves.
Heavy rains, flooding expected in the east
The depression has brought significant rainfall totals to inland parts of the Top End as it continues to move east.
More than 100 millimeters fell over a large area of the Katherine area, including 170 millimeters at Seventeen Mile Creek and 120 millimeters at Beswick Bridge along the Waterhouse River.
The BOM NT reported that there had been minor flooding at Beswick Bridge and a moderate peak was expected later on Tuesday afternoon.
Mr Raico said widespread rainfall over the Top End would likely lead to road closures in the area.
“Beswick Bridge at this point is covered at the moment, just crossed the road there,” he said.
Arnhem’s central road was closed on Tuesday due to flooding in the area.
The BOM NT reported that water levels continue to rise along the lower Katherine River.
However, no further flooding is expected around Katherine Township after the water level in the river peaked below minor flood stage overnight.
Conditions will ease in the coming days.
Mr Raico said with the low continuing to move eastward, the rains and damaging winds were expected to ease in western parts of the Top End on Tuesday.
He also said conditions would begin to ease across the rest of the Top End on Wednesday.
“It’s already starting to subside in the far west of the Top End and probably stretching east into tomorrow,” he said.
“Usually precipitation and winds [are] easing over the Top End, but we may still see some coastal wind warnings continuing.”
According to BOM NT, along the Waterhouse River, showers and storms are possible over the next few days, but larger falls are also expected to ease on Wednesday.
In low areas of the Gulf of Carpentaria coast, abnormally high tides could cause ocean flooding on Tuesday evening, notably in Alyangula, Numbulwar and Birany Birany.
Soggy conditions are also expected to continue in Queensland, with a slight chance that the same low will intensify into a cyclone once it enters the Gulf.