Cyclonic winds, rain for Cowboys' first game in new stadium
Cowboys fans have been reassured their new city stadium is cyclone proof, as chances of Cyclone Gretel developing in the Coral Sea increase to high on Friday.
While conditions are perfect for a tropical low in the Gulf of Carpentaria to strengthen into a cyclone as it moves into the Coral Sea, at this stage the system is expected to move further to sea and away from the coast.
However, Townsville residents and Cowboys fans should prepare for a wet night, with thunderstorms and showers predicted for Friday afternoon and evening.
Strong winds are also predicted.
"While a direct impact on the coast is extremely unlikely, strong to gale force winds are expected to occur in northern and central coastal waters before the system moves away," the bureau's cyclone outlook said.
A Queensland Country Bank Stadium spokesperson said they would advise fans if conditions deteriorated.
"The stadium has been built with North Queensland conditions in mind, such as a cyclone-resistant roof, and drainage systems under the turf designed to remove water quickly," the spokesperson said.
"Queensland Country Bank Stadium is in constant dialogue with the North Queensland Cowboys, and we continue to monitor the weather."
As well as the weather, organisers are also urging fans to stay home if they're sick as coronavirus concerns cause major festivals and events to be called off.
The stadium spokesperson said at this stage, the first round of the NRL season would go ahead as scheduled.
"Queensland Country Bank Stadium will continue to receive updates regarding the coronavirus from the Chief Health Officer, and act in accordance with guidelines provided by state and federal health experts," the spokesperson said.
"As with any event, concert patrons who are unwell are encouraged to stay home to avoid further discomfort to themselves or risk the health of other patrons."
Thunderstorms with possible heavy falls are forecast for Townsville today, with showers and storms also predicted tomorrow and Friday.