There is a feeling of dread and foreboding across the top of Australia as dawn broke today.
Tropical Cyclone Trevor is touching down on the Northern Territory coast right about now.
Upgraded overnight to a category four cyclone, TC Trevor is a huge system, the size of Victoria, travelling across the ground slowly at 19kmh with winds near the centre of 175kmh with wind gusts to 250kmh.
This very destructive core, with an "eye" 30km across, will cross the coast this morning before moving further south and inland into the Barkly district (Tennant Creek region) during today and tonight.
The cyclone is expected to weaken below cyclone strength by Sunday afternoon.
A state of emergency has already been declared and thousands of people have been evacuated to Darwin and Katherine.
Regional Commander Travis Wurst said communities in the Gulf of Carpentaria will experience destructive winds in the area several hours prior to the eye of the cyclone crossing through the region.
"The size of this system is part of the reason why we began evacuating people so early this week," he said.
"The Bureau of Meteorology has told us that the eye of the storm is about 30 kilometres wide and the cyclone will continue moving south for up to 24 hours after it makes landfall. The effects of the cyclone will be felt between 300 and 400 kilometres either side of the eye of the storm.
"We're urging people who are still in the watch or warning zones to finalise their preparations this evening. Make sure your homes, yards, family and emergency kits are ready."
"Destructive winds and forecasts rainfalls of 100 - 200 mils per day mean that there is a risk of flooding from where the cyclone makes landfall between Borroloola and the NT/Queensland border down through to the Barkly region," regional commander Wurst said.
"Because of this we don't want people travelling to the Gulf of Carpentaria or Barkly region over the weekend or early next week. Talk to your family and friends, including those in the outlying areas and make sure they're aware of the situation."
People in the region are being asked to heed the advice of local authorities, including any road closure messages as the system moves south over the weekend and into Monday.
"Tropical Cyclone Trevor could still intensify and change direction," regional commander Wurst said.
Residents in the Barkly and immediate surrounding areas are urged to check they have emergency plans in place with predictions of damaging wind gusts and heavy rainfall of up to 200mm in 24 hours starting today.
Regional Controller Southern Region, Acting Assistant Commissioner Michael Hebb said wind gusts of 100kmph and widespread rainfall of 150-200mm per day is expected after TC Trevor crosses the NT coastline on Saturday and the system impacts communities in the Barkly and Southern districts.
"It is important people living in these areas are aware of the situation and its ability to rapidly change," said Regional Controller Southern Region Acting Assistant Commissioner Michael Hebb
"The current indications is that this could impact as far inland as Brunette Downs and continuing south on Sunday and remain at Tropical Cyclone strength for up to 24 hours after its made landfall. This will bring 24 hours of heavy rainfall and damaging winds."
Surveying is being undertaken to identify a number of remote outstations in the tracking path of Tropical Cyclone Trevor.
"With limited data, it is difficult to predict the flow of water resulting from heavy rainfall, and so to ensure there is no loss of human life we are looking to evacuate people in those outstations.
"People being evacuated will be transported to an emergency centre set up in Tennant Creek following evacuations."
"Additionally, emergency shelters, particularly in Tennant Creek, will be available for those that may not be able to shelter from the inclement weather, and further advice will be provided as we progress into the weekend.
"There have been no further planned evacuations or directions given to evacuate at this stage. In the meantime, we will continue to monitor this requirement and encourage people to be prepared.
"It's also a timely reminder to those on cattle stations in the area to ensure they have adequate emergency plans in place during the severe storm event, and to self-assess and determine whether they are in a position to self-evacuate.
"Those who choose to stay need to be aware there is limitation as to our ability to respond and assist once the storm sets in.
"The Barkly region is expected to receive widespread three-day rainfall totals between 50mm and 100mm, with a flood watch current for the Carpentaria Coastal Rivers and Barkly region resulting in significant stream rises and localised flooding.
"Roads in the area may be closed and become impassable and communities will become isolated as a result."
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