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Cyclone Paul Batters Far Northern Australia April 2, 2010
Cyclone Paul can be seen swirling ashore from the Gulf of Carpentaria on Wednesday.
A cyclone emergency was declared for parts of Australia’s Northern Territory in the wake of Cyclone Paul’s drenching passage over the region.

Paul attained only tropical storm-force winds during its initial lifespan over the Gulf of Carpentaria. Its wind field then quickly weakened after it made landfall on Thursday.

But an abundant supply of moisture streaming into the storm’s circulation resulted in extremely heavy rainfall for some locations.

The Australian Bureau of Meteorology reports the community of Bulman received over 17 inches of precipitation from the slowly moving storm. Localized flooding was reported between Milingimbi and Numbulwar, with some communities becoming isolated due to washed-out roads.

Paul weakened to a tropical low late Thursday, then began drifting eastward toward the Gulf of Carpentaria. Forecasters warned late in the week that remnants of Paul could drift back over the Gulf, allowing the storm to redevelop and threaten other areas.

The Cairns Turtle Rehabilitation Center warned that if Paul passed over the Gulf and made landfall on the Queensland side, it could could cause endangered turtles to become snared in discarded or lost nets.

Center director Jennie Gilbert said that cyclones often bring northwesterly winds that can drag nets across the Gulf, capturing turtles in the process. Gilbert said it’s important that such snared turtles be rescued and released back to where they came from.

Cyclone Paul Track

Satellite Loop Data: CIMSS