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Northern Territory and Queensland expect Cyclone Esther to hit tomorrow

Christian Fernsby |
A slow moving tropical low threatens to develop into Cyclone Esther in the Gulf of Carpentaria near the Northern Territory Queensland border.

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The tropical low in the Gulf's centre is predicted to strengthen to category 1 system today afternoon, the Bureau of Meteorology says.

The system is currently about 250km away from Mornington Island, which is bracing for the brunt of the impact.

Forecasters tracking the system expect Esther to build into a category 2 system before crossing the coastline at the Queensland-Northern Territory border around tomorrow.

"We do expect that system to develop further this evening and overnight we do expect it to become a tropical cyclone," Bureau of Meteorology forecast Lauren Pattie said.

The region could receive up to 200mm of rain on Sunday, increasing to up to 250mm as the system reaches land on Monday, meteorologist Shane Kennedy said.

"It will weaken after crossing the coast, but we are expecting significant rainfall," Kennedy said.

There is a severe weather warning out for the gulf, right up to the Torres Strait.

Abnormally high tides are expected to swamp the coast, with large waves causing minor flooding.

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