Modelling showing a cyclone forming off the coast of North Queensland. Photo: Weatherzone
Modelling showing a cyclone forming off the coast of North Queensland. Photo: Weatherzone

Forecaster warns of 'scary' cyclone

THE only person to correctly predict the massive weather event that hit North Queensland last week is warning a cyclone could smash into the state's north this week.

David Taylor owns the popular Facebook sites, Brisbane Weather and East Coast Weather, and on February 25 he forecast 600mm would fall in Townsville on February 28.

In some areas nearly 800mm was recorded over the week.

He said modelling predicted a "very high chance" of a cyclone forming in the Coral Sea in the next week.

He believes a cyclone could form on Wednesday, however a second model points to next Tuesday.

Mr Taylor said the "decent cyclone" would cross the Queensland coast between Cairns and Gladstone.

He pointed to other forecasters who were also predicting a cyclone this week.

"It's looking pretty scary," he said.

"One of the outlooks is for it to cross the coast then swing southeast and cross south of Bundaberg."

Another long-term prediction made by Mr Taylor is for one of the coldest Australian winters on record.

"I predicted that six months ago," he said.

Modelling showing a cyclone forming off the coast of North Queensland. Photo: Weatherzone
Modelling showing a cyclone forming off the coast of North Queensland. Photo: Weatherzone

"We've already seen what America's winter was like and Scotland just got hammered."

Historic snowfall was yesterday recorded in parts of northern England.

Mr Taylor said the chill would impact large swathes of Australia.

"It will be slightly cooler than normal in the north but the real cold will be in the southern states and southeast Queensland in places like Warwick and Stanthorpe' he said.

"I wouldn't be surprised if there is snow in places where it hasn't snowed for a long time.

Mr Taylor said his predictions used Global Forecast System modelling along with the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecast and changes in sunspot activity.

"I compare that with sunspot activity and not many others do.

"It was the sunspot activity that predicted to me the low would form over Townsville - it was a combination of the sunspot activity and the ECMWF model."

He said mathematics played a large role in the predictions.

"Forecasting uses a lot of factors including wind speeds, altitude and moisture.

"A lot of people don't realise that when a forecast is made, if the wind is out by direction or speed, it can change the whole outlook."

He described small changes as having the "butterfly effect" - where a minute localised change in a complex system can have large effects elsewhere.

News Corp Australia

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