Flooding rains and destructive winds moving southTim Hooton, Thursday January 24, 2013 - 13:14 EDT
Ex-Tropical Cyclone Oswald will move further south today as an intense low pressure system. As it moves, it will continue to bring very heavy falls, very strong winds and high seas to much of the Queensland coast, reaching the southeast on Saturday.
In Mingela, south-west of Townsville, 285mm of rain fell since Wednesday, this was more than the average monthly fall in a single day. Overnight, 162mm of rain was recorded Gladstone, its heaviest rain in 10 years. Mackay had its heaviest rain in five years with 159mm in the city and 189mm. Due to the heavy rain, flood warnings have also been issued for several coastal rivers and adjacent streams in Queensland.
Not only has this low brought intense rainfall, it has also brought high wind speeds. Low Isles Lighthouse, between Cooktown and Cairns, experienced 80 km/h gusts this morning. Gusts as strong as 140 km/h were recorded this morning at Hay Point, south of Mackay, possibly a result of a tornado.
High seas have also been forecast, with sea heights to increase between 3 and 4 metres in the morning for waters south of Mackay on the Central Coast for today. Capricornia waters may have seas also in the order of 3 to four metres on Friday.
Southeast Queensland can expect its heaviest rain, strongest winds and largest seas from Friday night to Sunday as the tropical low moves south. Flooding, wind damage and beach erosion are all likely, although generally it will not be quite as severe as in the tropics.
Early next week, most of Queensland will be much sunnier and hotter as the low takes the most severe weather to New South Wales.
© Weatherzone 2013
More breaking news
For those among us wanting to balance out our participation in Earth Hour, the Vivid Light, Music and Ideas Festival opens in Sydney this on Friday.
Australia's Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) has released modelling showing the latest El Nino cycle is over, but could now lead to a wet winter after a devastating 14 months of drought and famine across the Pacific.
As drought bites hard on large parts of remote Australia, taking its toll on the health and finances of isolated communities, the Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS) is more important than ever.