Cyclone Ului grows to a very intense Category 5
Powerful cyclone charges towards Queensland coast (news.com.au)
A CATEGORY five cyclone is charging across the Coral Sea towards north Queensland.
Tropical cyclone Ului is now southeast of the Solomon Islands after building rapidly from a category three on Saturday to a category five this morning.
Queensland's Bureau of Meteorology says the cyclone is packing wind gusts of up to 290 kilometres an hour.
Senior forecaster Brett Harrison said at midday (AEST) today it was more than 15,000 kilometres northeast of the Whitsundays.
"It is moving about 15 kilometres per hour and it will get close to the north Queensland coast around mid-week, probably Wednesday,'' Mr Harrison said.
"It is expected to be a very intense system for the next couple of days and will most likely be a category five (if it reaches north Queensland's coast).''
Storm track forecasts indicate that Ului will move slowly to the south-southeast and then head south as it weakens on Wednesday. It is too early to forecast where along the Queensland coast this storm is likely to hit, however, the above artice reports that there is a high pressure system in the Tasman Sea that, in combination with Ului, is creating high surf in southern Australia.
The cyclone, in combination with a high pressure system in the Tasman Sea, is creating big swells and strong winds north of Cairns.
It will be interesting to see if this high acts as a block, steering Uliu into the Australian coast or preventing it from heading too far south.
Cyclone Ului heading for Queensland coast (Courier Mail)
AN extremely dangerous tropical storm is moving towards Queensland, with gales and big seas expected to hit the coast by the middle of the week.
Cyclone Ului has intensified to category 5 – the worst on the Weather Bureau's cyclone category system – and is expected to be about 1200km off the coast this morning.
It was southeast of the Solomon Islands yesterday afternoon, with winds to 290km/h and travelling southwest at 15km/h.