February 18, 2015

Cyclone Marcia! Marcia! Marcia! is born


7:00pm 19/02 UPDATE: Severe Tropical Cyclone Marcia now a Category 4 storm and expected to make landfall as a very destructive Category 5 cyclone. See the Cyclone Warning for more info.

Check out our latest post for the most up-to-date info!

4:04pm 19/02 UPDATE: Severe Tropical Cyclone Marcia now a Category 3 storm and expected to make landfall as a Category 4 cyclone. See the Cyclone Warning for more info.

Original post: As the Gold Coast prepares for what will likely be it's worst weather for 2015, the low pressure system in the Coral Sea has developed into a Category 1 tropical cyclone called 'Marcia', and is slowly strengthening as she continues to head for the central Queensland coast.

TC Marcia is currently located approximately 760 km northeast of Yeppoon and 850 km north-northeast of Bundaberg, and is heading southwest at 22 km per hour.

TC Marcia is expected make to landfall between St Lawrence and Hervey Bay early on Friday. Marcia is expected to slowly intensify, with a high chance of reaching Category 2 intensity by landfall.
MTSAT Colourized Infrared Satellite Image
7:33pm Wed 18 Feb 2015


Whilst TC Marcia doesn't pose a direct threat to the Gold Coast, the swell she is generating along with bringing a trough into the southeast of the State, a Severe Weather Warning remains in effect for damaging winds, heavy rainfall, abnormally high tides and dangerous surf, along with a Flood Watch for riverine flooding (a copy of warnings at bottom of this post).

Forecast Track Map  as at 8:04pm

HEAVY RAINFALL

When will it rain? Check the latest 3-hourly detailed forecast.

Widespread rainfall totals of 200-400mm are forecast, with locally higher rainfall likely. The heaviest rainfall is expected to fall within coastal catchments.



RIVERINE FLOODING

Heavy rainfall associated with the trough is forecast to affect catchments between Rockhampton and the NSW border from Thursday through to Saturday.

River level rises above the minor flood level are expected. Catchments at risk within the Flood Watch area include the Albert and Gold Coast rivers and creeks.

A Flood Watch means that people living or working along rivers and creeks should monitor the latest weather forecasts and warnings and be ready to move to higher ground should flooding develop.

Heavy rainfall may also lead to localised flash flooding.


DAMAGING WINDS

Damaging winds gusts of up to 90 km/hr are now expected to develop a little earlier (during Thursday night into Friday), and mostly near the coast and ranges.

ABNORMALLY HIGH TIDES

The highest tide of the year of 1.84m is tomorrow morning at 8:31am, with another high tide of 1.81m on Friday at 9:16am.

Water levels on the high tides from Thursday are likely to exceed the 1.84m maximum causing tidal flooding in the usual low-lying areas of Budds Beach and Boykambil (Hope Island).


DANGEROUS SURF

Dangerous surf conditions and significant beach erosion are also expected from Thursday.

Beaches from Burleigh to the Gold Coast Seaway were closed today, and with conditions expected to worsen tomorrow and Friday, it's expected all Gold Coast beaches will be closed.


LOCAL DISASTER MANAGEMENT

Whilst the City of Gold Coast Local Disaster Management Centre is now up and running to monitor the event. For further information, you can contact the Disaster Hotline on 1800 606 000.

BE PREPARED, NOT SCARED

If you do need assistance, here are some essential contact numbers
  • For any life threatening emergencies, call Triple Zero (000)
  • For assistance with flooding or storm emergencies, call the State Emergency Service (SES) on 132 500
  • For emergencies such as powerlines down, call Energex on 13 19 62
  • For loss of power supply, call Energex on 13 62 62
  • For issues with your water or sewerage service, call City of Gold Coast on 1300 000 928
  • For issues with local roads, stormwater or parks, call City of Gold Coast on 1300 465 326
  • For road closure information, call 13 19 40



SEVERE WEATHER WARNING

for DESTRUCTIVE WINDS, HEAVY RAINFALL, ABNORMALLY HIGH TIDES and DANGEROUS SURF

For people in the
Capricornia,
Wide Bay and Burnett,
Southeast Coast and parts of the
Darling Downs and Granite Belt Forecast Districts.

Issued at 5:33 pm Wednesday, 18 February 2015.

Synoptic Situation:
A tropical low pressure system lies over the Coral Sea approximately 900km north northeast of Bundaberg. The low is expected to develop into a tropical cylone as it moves southwestwards towards the Queensland east coast, and forecast to cross the Capricornia coast early on Friday as a category 2 cyclone. A trough will extend southwards from the low/cyclone, and will move onto the Capricornia, Wide Bay and southeast Queensland coasts during Thursday.


St Lawrence to Double Island Point:
Thunderstorms are expected to develop near the trough early on Thursday morning, and are likely to move onto the coast between St Lawrence and Hervey Bay during Thursday morning. These thunderstorms may produce localised areas of destructive wind gusts in excess of 125 km/hr about coastal and island communities.

A Tropical Cyclone Warning is current from Sarina to Double Island Point, with a Watch current for the adjacent inland areas from Yeppoon to Double Island Point. Please refer to the Tropical Cyclone Track Map and Tropical Cyclone Advice for further details.

Double Island Point to the NSW border:
Heavy rain and locally damaging wind gusts are possible from the coast to the ranges between Double Island Point and Brisbane from Thursday, extending to the state's southern border and into the eastern Darling Downs during Thursday night into Friday. The heavy rain may lead to flash flooding, with some 24 hour totals in excess of 300mm likely. Damaging wind gusts may reach around 90 km/hr, mostly near the coast and ranges.

Water levels on the high tide are likely to exceed the highest tide of the year between Double Island Point and the Gold Coast from Thursday. Dangerous surf conditions and beach erosion are also expected on exposed beaches south of Double Island Point.


Riverine flooding:
A flood watch is current for the Capricornia, Wide Bay and Burnett, Southeast Coast and the Darling Downs & Granite Belt District forecast districts.

Locations which may be affected include Warwick, Gold Coast, Toowoomba, the Lockyer Valley, the Sunshine Coast, Brisbane, Caboolture, Ipswich, Gympie, Bundaberg, Gladstone, and Rockhampton.

Queensland Fire and Emergency Services advises that people should:
* Move your car under cover or away from trees.
* Secure loose outdoor items.
* Seek shelter, preferably indoors and never under trees.
* Beware of fallen trees and powerlines.
* Avoid driving, walking or riding through flood waters.
* Keep clear of creeks and storm drains.
* Surf Life Saving Australia recommends that you stay out of the water and stay well away from surf-exposed areas.
* Check your property regularly for erosion or inundation by sea water, and if necessary raise goods and electrical items.
* For emergency assistance contact the SES on 132 500.

The next warning is due to be issued by 11:35 pm.

Warnings are also available through TV and Radio broadcasts, the Bureau's website at www.bom.gov.au or call 1300 659 219. The Bureau and Queensland Fire and Emergency Services would appreciate warnings being broadcast regularly.



FLOOD WATCH 

FOR THE CAPRICORNIA, WIDE BAY & BURNETT, SOUTHEAST COAST AND DARLING DOWNS & GRANITE BELT FORECAST DISTRICTS

Issued at 11:54 am EST on Wednesday 18 February 2015

Issue Number: 2

Heavy rainfall associated with a trough is forecast to affect catchments between Rockhampton and the NSW border from Thursday through to Saturday.

Widespread rainfall totals of 200-400 mm are forecast, with locally higher rainfall likely. The heaviest rainfall is expected to fall within coastal catchments. A severe weather warning and tropical cyclone advice are current for parts of the Flood Watch area.

River level rises above the minor flood level are expected.

Heavy rainfall may also lead to localised flash flooding.

Catchments at risk within the Flood Watch area include the Dawson, Calliope, Boyne, Baffle, Kolan, Burnett, Cherwell-Burrum, Mary, Noosa, Maroochy, Mooloolah, Brisbane, Logan, Albert, Gold Coast rivers and creeks, Upper Condamine, Border Rivers and Moonie.

See www.bom.gov.au/qld/warnings/ to view the current flood warnings for Queensland.

This Flood Watch means that people living or working along rivers and creeks should monitor the latest weather forecasts and warnings and be ready to move to higher ground should flooding develop.

See www.bom.gov.au/qld/flood/brochures/flood_watch/ for further information about Flood Watch.

Remember: If it's flooded, forget it.

For flood emergency assistance contact the SES on 132 500.

For life threatening emergencies, call Triple Zero (000) immediately.

Current emergency information is available at www.disaster.qld.gov.au .

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