11AM UPDATE 3/4/18 – Tropical Cyclone Iris is remaining a Category 2 system and has weakened slightly over the past 3 hours, but in general she is expected to continuing to slowly intensifying off the NQLD Coast. Iris appears to be adopting a more South Easterly track now as expected, although she is remaining slow moving. High levels of convection over the Southern side of the system are indicating there is still room for intensification and she may become a Category 3 system overnight tonight. Light rain areas are impacting the Coast between Mackay and Ayr with light falls since 9am being recorded so far.
Track Map issued by BOM at 11am 3/4/18
Live data is showing a large area of dry air suffocating large parts of QLD. This dry air is expected to eventually impact Iris and lead to a reduction in rainfall across the Central QLD Coast. However for the next 48-72hrs there is the potential for Iris to remain in a favourable, but deteriorating environment and briefly reach Category 3 strength off the Whitsunday Coast. Conditions are forecast to deteriorate across the Central QLD Coast over the next 12-18hrs with damaging to destructive winds likely over the Whitsundays and strong to damaging winds over areas between Ayr and Sarina including Mackay and Proserpine.
Image via Weatherzone showing the dry air over QLD with Iris off the Coast.
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