Cyclone Tiffany crosses the Top End coast as a Category 1 system, as residents of the alert zone take cover

Tropical Cyclone Tiffany crossed the east coast of the Top End as a Category 1 system, after being downgraded from Category 2 classification.

After passing through northern Queensland and losing the force of cyclones throughout Tuesday, the weather system reformed into a cyclone in the Gulf of Carpentaria overnight and continued to expand over the water.

But according to the latest advice from the NT Bureau of Meteorology (BOM NT), the system weakened in the early hours of the morning only to reach Category 1 force as it crossed the coast.

The cyclone is now moving west over the Top End with sustained wind gusts of 75 kilometers per hour near its center and gusts of up to 100 kilometers per hour.

It is expected to weaken below the strength of the cyclone later in the day as it moves over the lower part of the top, causing strong winds and heavy precipitation.

Earlier this morning, BOM NT senior forecaster Billy Lynch told ABC Radio Darwin that the cyclone had not developed as much as expected because it had moved faster over the water and closer to the sea. coast than expected.

“It’s probably about three hours ahead of schedule, compared to our forecast yesterday,” he said.

“It is expected to make landfall around the Port Roper area just south of Numbulwar either later this morning or early this afternoon.

“Right now, in our advice, we’re forecasting a Category 2 impact. But on the advice that will come out next, the advice, we’re going to bring it down to a Category 1 impact.

Mr Lynch also said the eye of the storm now had to pass south of Groote Eylandt, meaning communities there would avoid a “direct hit”.

The latest BOM NT tracking map for Tropical Cyclone Tiffany.(Provided: NT Bureau of Meteorology)

A cyclone warning is currently in place for part of the NT coast from Alyangula to Port McArthur, including Numbulwar, Ngukurr and Port Roper.

A warning previously in place for Groote Eylandt has now been rescinded.

This came after Mr Lynch earlier indicated that BOM NT was likely to reduce the size of the cyclone warning area.

“We are really focusing on that part of the coastline around the southwestern Gulf of Carpentaria, from Groote Eylandt to Port McArthur, with Numbulwar, Groote Eylandt and Ngukurr being probably the main communities who just need to keep listening to the latest advice. , and take shelter as conditions deteriorate today, ”he said.

Tropical Cyclone Tiffany is expected to bring gales of up to 100 kilometers per hour to coastal areas near Port Roper and the Nathan River, and inland to Ngukurr, as it passes today.

Storm surges bringing destructive waves and dangerous flooding are expected between Port McArthur and Alyangula, including Groote Eylandt, and heavy rains which could cause flooding in low areas are expected in parts of Arnhem and Arnhem districts. Carpentaria.

Flood monitoring remains in place for the northwestern coastal waters and Carpentaria.

Earlier this morning, Corallie Ferguson, a member of the Groote Eylandt emergency management committee and resident, told ABC News Breakfast that the cyclone brought high winds and rain overnight, but the damage appeared to be up to now “minimal”.

She said as residents braced for wilder weather today, they were relieved the system wasn’t as bad as expected.

“Fortunately at this point it has been a very wild and windy night,” she said.

“Our construction company is going around to see if there are trees in the road and things like that.

NT Incident Controller and Police Superintendent Brad Fox told ABC Radio Darwin that there were several public cyclone shelters open in Groote Eylandt, Numbulwar and Ngukurr, with around 50 people using the shelter. Numbulwar at night.

However, he said most residents of Groote Eylandt chose to take shelter in their homes after the cyclone went down to Category 1.

Superintendent Fox said the current advice for people in the alert zone is to continue to seek shelter in an appropriate location and to stay well informed.

And he said the authorities were well prepared to provide assistance.

“As it crosses the land, we have actually injected additional resources into the community of Ngukurr for this expected arrival,” he said.