Powerful Tropical Cyclone Debbie Makes Landfall in Queensland

Powerful Tropical Cyclone Debbie made landfall in Queensland on Monday night.  At 9:00 p.m. EDT on Monday the center of Tropical Cyclone Debbie was located at latitude 20.2°S and longitude 148.7°E which put it about 30 miles (50 km) east-southeast of Bowen, Australia.  Debbie was moving toward the southwest at 7 m.p.h. (12 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 115 m.p.h. (185 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 160 m.p.h. (260 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 943 mb.

Tropical Cyclone Debbie intensified rapidly on Monday into the equivalent of a major hurricane.  A symmetrical eye developed at the center of circulation and a ring of strong thunderstorms surrounded the eye.  Bands of thunderstorms were revolving around the core of Tropical Cyclone Debbie.  Winds to hurricane force extend out about 40 miles (65 km) from the center.  Winds to tropical storm force extended out about 140 miles (225 km) from the center.

The Hurricane Intensity Index (HII) for Tropical Cyclone Debbie was 20.6.  The Hurricane Size Index (HSI) was 16.0 and the Hurricane Wind Intensity Size Index (HWISI) was 36.6.  These indices indicate that Tropical Cyclone Debbie was capable of causing regional major damage.

The center of Tropical Cyclone Debbie made landfall on the coast of Queensland between Bowen and Proserpine.  Debbie will bring strong gusty winds to the portions of Queensland in the path of the tropical cyclone.  Tropical Cyclone Debbie will cause a storm surge along the coast near and to the south of where the center makes landfall.  Debbie will also produce heavy rain as it moves inland and flooding could occur in some areas.

Tropical Cyclone Debbie will weaken after the center moves inland.  The core of Debbie will move across the Clarke Range and those mountains will speed the dissipation of the tropical cyclone.