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Wild NT weather tipped in run up to Xmas

AAP logoAAP 19/12/2016 Lucy Hughes Jones

The lead up to Christmas should be wild in the Top End as a severe thunderstorm rolls in this week, but conditions should ease in time for Santa's arrival.

The Bureau of Meteorology has issued a weather warning for damaging winds and widespread heavy rainfall which is predicted to lash Darwin and other areas.

People in the Tiwi Islands and parts of the Daly and Arnhem districts should brace for wind gusts of around 90 km/h and heavy downpours which may lead to flash flooding.

Daily falls of up to 100mm are possible across the Top End, with heavier downpours of 150mm possible in isolated coastal areas.

The storms are expected to develop late on Monday night or early Tuesday morning, affecting several locations including Darwin, Palmerston, Jabiru, Maningrida, Wurrumiyanga, Nauiyu, Milikapiti, Pirlangimpi and Milingimbi.

"The worst weather conditions are expected tomorrow and on Wednesday, starting to ease from Thursday," said Ben Suter, the bureau's NT regional director.

A developing tropical low in the Timor Sea, west of the Tiwi Islands, is combining with an active monsoon to produce squally showers and thunderstorms, the bureau said.

"We are forecasting a moderate (20-50 per cent) chance the tropical low will develop into a cyclone later on Tuesday or Wednesday, and a low chance of a cyclone forming on Thursday," Mr Suter said.

"If a tropical cyclone forms it is expected to track in a southwesterly direction away from the NT through the Timor Sea and towards the northern Western Australia coast later this week."

A flood watch has been issued for the Bonaparte, North West, Arnhem and Carpentaria coastal rivers and access to some communities may be cut off.

The wild weather is tipped to be short lived, and Territorians can look forward to easing conditions on Christmas Day.

The monsoon burst is tipped to give way to typical wet season conditions on Sunday, which is forecast to be partly cloudy with a high chance of a shower or two, light winds and a possible thunderstorm.

WHAT TO DO IN WILD WEATHER:

* Secure loose outside objects and seek shelter when conditions deteriorate

* Pull over if it is raining heavily and you cannot see, park with your hazard lights on until the rain clears

* Avoid driving into water of unknown depth and current

* Create your own sandbags if there is flooding, by using pillow cases or shopping bags filled with sand and place them around doorways to protect your home

* Stay away from flooded drains, rivers, streams and waterways

* Ensure pets and animals are safe

* Be prepared in case of power outages, have an emergency kit with a radio, torch, spare batteries and first aid kit

* For emergency help in floods, storms and cyclones, contact the NorthernTerritory Emergency Service on 132 500.

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