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LISTEN: Trough develops into tropical low, but stays in Gulf

If a cyclone re-intensifies off the coast of Cairns, it may head south.
If a cyclone re-intensifies off the coast of Cairns, it may head south.

UPDATE 7.40pm: 

STORM chaser Jeff Higgins has updated his forecast for the monsoonal trough in the Gulf. 

Speaking to The Observer this evening, Higgins said despite earlier modelling suggesting a number of possible scenarios with the movement of the trough, it now appears most likely to remain in the Gulf. 

It has developed into a tropical low and may further develop into a tropical cyclone.

But Higgins stressed that this is only a slight chance at this stage. 

This morning Jeff Higgins said one of a number of possible scenarios is that the trough could move to Cairns before tracking south -- although he stressed that there was only a slight chance of this occurring. 

He also said this morning a possible scenario was that it would stay in the Gulf, which is the forecast that appears to be most accurate at this stage. 

LISTEN: Jeff Higgins explains 


EARLIER:

STORM chaser Jeff Higgins has outlined possible scenarios from the monsoonal trough in the north, including one - the perfect storm scenario - where it intensifies over Gulf waters and tracks south.

He said modelling suggests it will intensify in Gulf waters, then could move across to Cairns where it would re-intensify in the Coral Sea before heading south.

But he stressed that this is just one of a number of possible scenarios. 

"It is likely to track toward the east, so then it would become an ex-TC or just remain a tropical low along the far north Queensland coast.

"We're quite confident about that forecast.

"Then also the re-intensification once it enters the Coral Sea -- that's where models start to become very divided," he said, adding that would occur on Thursday.

The storm chaser said a possible scenario is the ridge over Queensland's east coast is likely to pull the trough down.

"If you have a ridge build up over Queensland it will pull it south," he said. 

>> RELATED: BOM: Monsoonal trough could move south

That same trough may keep the possible cyclone off Queensland's coast as it tracks south toward the central coast.

But, he said, if an upper trough or a surface trough develops over central Queensland, which modelling suggest is a chance, "it may break that ridge down," he said.

"This would allow the cyclone to track in a more southerly or even south west direction.

"There is a chance of that happening later in the week.

"I guess would have to be within 300km off the coast for it to really effect the coast."

He said parts of north Queensland are expecting 400mm rain falls, showing the severity of the trough. 

>> LISTEN: Higgins: 'Wet season has just begun' 

*Note: This story was originally published with the headline: 'Trough to become cyclone, track south'

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