Cyclone Oma: Gigantic waves to smash Aussie coast

POTENTIAL RAIN Tropical Cyclone Oma might bring showers for the Biloela region

"That combination is leading to some risky surf conditions and higher than normal tides".

"The Bureau of Meteorology has issued a hazardous surf warning for waters between Yeppoon and the Gold Coast with seas reaching extreme conditions over the coming days", Senior Sergeant Edden said.

Ferocious winds and big waves are expected to smash southeast Queensland and far northern New South Wales this weekend as Tropical Cyclone Oma heads towards Australia's east coast.

Damaging wind gusts of more than 90km/h were expected on Saturday afternoon and night in exposed areas of the coast and islands between the Sunshine Coast and the New South Wales border.

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

However, it is predicted that it may still be close enough to the coast to affect sea and swell conditions.

Gold Coast beaches remained open on Tuesday, but to the north, some beaches on the Sunshine Coast and North Stradbroke Island were closed. Beach erosion is likely to continue with the hazardous marine conditions'.

Closures may continue on Sunday, depending on weather conditions.

A FLOOD watch warning is now in place for the Mary and Burrum rivers.




The same conditions were expected as far south as Yamba in northern NSW.

The longer it stays offshore, the greater the potential damage to beaches as waves of up to six metres pound the shoreline.

Blazak said it could also potentially bring much-needed rain to drought-affected inland areas of the southeast corner.

"Oma swell is bigger than that of [Tropical Cyclone] Debbie, the surf is still very risky as you can see out there and my attitude is that the warning has been issued, the beaches are closed, the sea wall at The Spit is closed", he said.

Mr Gray said it probably wasn't the best weekend to take a drive to the coast, as conditions may not be ideal. "It would end up decaying and dropping rainfall in those dry areas".

The cyclone's sudden change of direction has amplified the risk.

"At the moment Cyclone Oma is moving south-west towards and we have a warning for unsafe surf today and tomorrow and over the weekend as well".

Authorities are warning people not to panic but prepare, with the cyclone expected to bring wild weather, 130km/h winds and 500mm of rain in just 24 hours.

Forecasting images showed "the range of likely tracks of the cyclone centre" but this is "uncertainty associated with tropical cyclone forecasting", the Bureau website advises.

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