UPDATED: TC Nora could become category 4 system

Queenslanders living along the Gulf have been urged to be on high alert, as the Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) predicted Tropical Cyclone Nora would intensify into a category four system bringing 170km/h winds to parts of the far north.

The Courier Mail reported the system, which on Saturday morning sat 275km west northwest of Weipa, was expected to track southeast and become a severe category four cyclone as it moved towards the Queensland coast.

BOM said the cyclone was likely to intensify near the town of Pormpuraaw and gale force winds of up to 170km/h were expected in the region. A red alert had been issued for Weipa, Thursday Island, Amrun and Skardon River.

“Heavy Rainfall is forecast about Torres Strait and Cape York Peninsula and [will] extend to the Gulf Country of Queensland later today and into Sunday, depending on the track of the Tropical Cyclone. Heavy rainfall could potentially lead to flash flooding in some areas,” BOM said in a statement.

“As the cyclone approaches the coast, a storm tide is expected between Mapoon and Gilbert River Mouth.”

RACQ spokesperson Kirsty Clinton said home owners in the north needed to prepare and make sure they stayed tuned into regular weather alerts and warnings.

“This is an intense system and we’re urging residents to make sure their properties are properly prepared now. This means home owners should be removing debris, like branches and trees from around the property, should clean gutters, and make sure their roof’s secure and doesn’t leak,” Ms Clinton said.

“It’s also important residents have an emergency kit with essential food, water and medical supplies, and an emergency plan for their family, in case they need to evacuate.”