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More storms on the way in central and south Queensland as cyclone brews

By Lucy Murray, Saturday March 16, 2019 - 16:04 EDT
ABC licensed image
Lightning struck close to campers at the Country Music Festival in Ipswich. - ABC licensed

More storms are likely to hit southern and central Queensland this weekend — and there is a chance of a cyclone forming.

The Bureau of Meteorology released a severe thunderstorm warning at 2:30pm for the Central Highlands and Coalfields, Central West and Maranoa and Warrego districts.

and dumped huge falls, including up to 180 millimetres on the Sunshine Coast.



"It's a quite different day today; we have a fair bit of high cloud around that tends to supress things a lot," meteorologist Nickolas Shera said.

The rain will stick around for the rest of the weekend across south-east Queensland and into next week, with the possibility of severe storms on Monday.

Chance of a cyclone

There is a moderate chance of a cyclone forming over the Coral Sea this weekend.

The current model has it crossing the Cape York Peninsula into the Gulf of Carpentaria as early as next Tuesday.



"The monsoon trough is likely to strengthen to the north of Australia this weekend and a tropical low is expected to move into the northern Coral Sea today or tomorrow," Mr Shera said.

"There is a moderate chance that a cyclone could develop in the north-west Coral Sea form Sunday, but there is also a large uncertainty in regard to its movements."

Rescues and calls for help

By midday on Saturday about 600 homes were still without power after it was cut by severe storms on Friday evening.

At the peak of the incident 23,000 had reported outages.



The rain caused major commuter delays of more than an hour for some train and bus services, and flights were also disrupted.

Emergency services received hundreds of calls for help as people became stuck in rapidly rising floodwaters.

Two 17-year-old girls waded to safety after their car got stuck in floodwaters in the Gold Coast Hinterland at about 8:30pm.



Early this morning, another car was swept into floodwaters at Mackenzie River near Blackwater. The male driver managed to get out before emergency crews arrived.

Meanwhile, revellers at a country music festival in Ipswich got a fright when a lightning bolt struck near campers.

The campsite was turned into a mud pit, but the rain did not dampen spirits, with one reveller saying it added to the party.

"It hit real hard, come in quick, and then it just rained all night pretty consistently," Lachlan Allen, who filmed the lightning strike, said.

"It just adds to the fun of it … but it's a bit wet here that's for sure."

Farmers celebrating the rain

The Southern Downs got its first rainfall for the year, with about 70 millimetres falling to the west of Warwick.

Cattle producer and councillor Rod Kelly said three of his dams were filled and he will no longer have to cart water.

"That water gets us through winter until the next wet season … we had been carting water to our stock, so now the pressure is off," he said.

"It just means a lot.

"We just hope now there is enough heat in the soil so we can get some grass growth to give us a bit of feed through winter as well."


- ABC

© ABC 2019

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