Saturday, 23 March, 2019


Cyclone Oma down to category 1, will not make landfall this weekend

The swell was picking up at Alexandra Headland and The Bluff on the Sunshine Coast The swell was picking up at Alexandra Headland and The Bluff on the Sunshine Coast
Kristine Garrett | 22 February, 2019, 05:39

A Cyclone Watch for parts of south-east Queensland and northern New South Wales has been cancelled with forecasters now increasingly confident Tropical Cyclone Oma will stay well away from the Coast.

A flawless storm bringing king tides and massive swells could hit the region with its fiercest battering in years.

This Ute was the latest victim of the infamous Mudlo Rocks passing at Rainbow Beach, which was inundated with water when a larger than normal engulfed it on Tuesday morning.

"This has the potential to be a significant beach erosion event, given the combination of the increasing surf, abnormally high tides and the fact that these conditions should persist for a few days".

Today, Oma is located even less than 1000 km from Brisbane and is moving towards Queensland at the speed of 10 kmph.

And although Cyclone Oma is not expected to make landfall, the category-two storm is already whipping up the water, closing all Gold Coast beaches and most on the Sunshine Coast in the process.

However, respected models used in the United States and Europe now show an increasing likelihood of the cyclone making landfall in Queensland.

A total of 5077 homes have been affected in several power outages across the Sunshine Coast and Noosa.

"A crossing is not certain yet, and there are scenarios where it may linger off the coast", Mr Blazak said.

"There are going to be hazardous conditions on our surf and there could be waves up to seven metres over the course of the weekend, and in some instances it may be higher", Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said on Friday.

All Gold Coast beaches remain closed and will stay shut until at least Monday at the earliest. Further beach closures are expected, with monster 5m waves predicted, with local big wave surfers salivating at the prospect.

Forecasters said it's less likely that Cyclone Oma will cross the Queensland coast, but people are still being warned to expect high winds and unsafe swell.

The Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) warned there would be abnormally high tides and unsafe surf into early next week.

A auto drives down flooded Tingira St during the king tide in Portsmith, Cairns.

Oma has weakened to a Category One system overnight with sustained winds of 85 kilometres an hour and gusts of 120 kilometres.

Bureau of Meteorology meteorologist Lauren Pattie said forecasters were keeping the warning zone broad until they could better gauge where the cyclone would move. If it's flooded, forget it.

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