February 18, 2015

Severe weather warning issued, local disaster group on alert

MTSAT Colourized Infrared
Satellite Image

8:33pm Tue 17 Feb 2015
The Gold Coast is now facing a quadruple threat on Thursday and Friday from damaging winds, heavy rainfall, abnormally high tides and dangerous surf as the low pressure system in the Coral Sea deepens and moves closer to Queensland.

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

The low in the Coral Sea, is expected to shift southwest over the southern Coral Sea during the next few days, possibly approaching the southern Queensland coast late in the week.

It's possible the low will cross the coast between Rockhampton and the Sunshine Coast on Thursday or Thursday night, bringing with it a monsoon trough extending southwards towards the Gold Coast.

As a result, a Severe Weather Warning is current (a copy of the 9:26pm warning at the bottom of this post).

HEAVY RAINFALL

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

Rainfall totals by the end of the week are still looking very high at up to 400mm with 50-100mm on Thursday, 150-200mm on Friday and 50-100mm on Saturday.
Rainfall Estimates for 19, 20 and 21 February 2015

ABNORMALLY HIGH TIDES

To make matters worse, the highest tide of the year of 1.84m is on Thursday 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).


DAMAGING WINDS

Damaging winds gusts of up to 90 km/hr expected during Friday (mostly near the coast and ranges). 
Gold Coast Seaway Wind Speed and Wind Direction Forecast
(Source: willyweather.com.au)

DANGEROUS SURF

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


LOCAL DISASTER MANAGEMENT

Whilst the City of Gold Coast Local Disaster Management group has been put on 'Alert' and Mayor Tom Tate was on the evening TV news warning residents of the pending severe weather event - as of Tuesday evening there hasn't yet been any information published from City of Gold Coast advising of the pending event.

Having a quick look at other councils in south-east Queensland, most have already engaged their residents and visitors through social media and/or their own website with essential information.


Most SEQ Councils engaging about severe weather event
(as at 11pm, 17 February 2015)

GET READY - NOW

Tomorrow (Wednesday) will be the last day to prepare for what's coming, so now is the time to Get Ready Gold Coast.

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 131940

SEVERE WEATHER WARNING

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

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

Issued at 9:26 pm Tuesday, 17 February 2015.

Synoptic Situation: A tropical low pressure system lies over the Coral Sea approximately 1000 km east northeast of Cairns. The low may cross the Capricornia or Wide Bay coast on Friday. The monsoon trough is likely to extend southwards of the low towards southeast Queensland late in the working week, resulting in severe weather near, and well to the south of the low.

Heavy rain and damaging winds are possible from the coast to the ranges between Rockhampton and Brisbane from Thursday, extending down to the state's southern border during Friday. The heavy rain may lead to flash flooding, with some 24 hour totals in excess of 300 mm. The damaging winds 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 Rockhampton and the Gold Coast from Thursday. Dangerous surf conditions and significant beach erosion are also expected between Rockhampton and the Gold Coast from Thursday.

Locations which may be affected include Rockhampton, Bundaberg, Gympie, the Sunshine Coast, Brisbane and the Gold Coast.

 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 3:30 am Wednesday.

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.

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