Tropical Cyclone Penny is forecast to strengthen in the Coral Sea over the coming hours, according to forecasts on Friday, January 4. Penny was located near 15.6°S, 155.9°E as of Friday morning (local time), packing maximum sustained winds of 101 km/h (63 mph) and moving east-southeastward at 19 km/h (12 mph). The storm is forecast to make a westward turn over the coming days toward the Queensland coast.
If Penny makes landfall in Queensland, high winds and heavy rain, as well as consequent flooding, transportation disruptions (including flight delays and cancelations), and power outages, are to be expected in affected areas.
Cyclone Penny passed over the Cape York peninsula on January 1, bringing heavy rain and strong winds to the region, before again strengthening in the Coral Sea. Australia typically experiences tropical storms and cyclones from November through April.
Individuals in the affected areas are advised to monitor local weather reports, adhere to instructions issued by local authorities, anticipate strong winds, heavy rain, flooding, and associated disruptions (e.g. road closures, port and airport closures). Remember that walking or driving through moving water can be dangerous - 15 cm (6 in) of running water is enough to knock over an adult - and that floodwater can contain wastewater and chemical products; all items having come into contact with floodwater should be disinfected and all foodstuffs discarded.
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