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Cyclone Nathan forecast to smash Queensland coast

By Mark Beale

TROPICAL Cyclone Nathan is forecast to finish what it started, striking the Queensland coastline on Friday morning after coming within 70km of landfall last week.

The latest Bureau of Meteorology predictions suggest that Nathan — currently a Category One — will build into a Category Two this evening, then into a Category Three on Wednesday evening.
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It will then barrel towards Queensland’s east coast, with forecasters expecting it to make landfall between Cape Tribulation and Cooktown at 10am on Friday.

The uncertainty around the cyclone means a change of direction could push it towards Cairns.

Cooktown and Cape Tribulation will cop the worst of its very destructive winds, with Port Douglas to expect strong gale force winds.

Right now, Nathan is delivering winds of between 85kmh and 120kmh.

It is currently 500km east northeast of Cairns and moving south southwest at 4kmh

According to the BOM, “The system is expected remain relatively weak until Wednesday morning, but then begin to intensify in a much more favourable environment as it tracks towards the coast”.

As a Category Three, Nathan will have become a powerful system, with winds of between 165kmh and 224kmh.

Its winds will be classed as “very destructive” with those in the area warned to expect “some roof and structural damage” and blackouts.

The BOM is yet to put a warning or watch zone in place for far north towns.

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