250mm rain, 90km/h winds: Severe weather for Qld coast

The weather bureau is closely watching a "complex system" sitting off the Queensland coast on Monday morning, with intense rainfall and life-threatening flash flooding likely if the trough tracks slightly west.

The Bureau of Meteorology said there was a chance of heavy rainfall leading to flash flooding possible for Hervey Bay, the Sunshine Coast and coastal fringes of the Gold Coast areas, with the possibility of 150mm in six hour.

The low, which is embedded within a trough, reached Fraser Island and Hervey Bay late on Sunday afternoon and hovered just off the coast.

Rain has already lashed parts of the Queensland coast, with Mt Wolvi on the Sunshine Coast recording 42mm since 9am on Sunday, Tin Can Bay with 41mm, Eumundi 34mm, Ghost Hill with 34mm and Maryborough 26mm.

Severe weather has been forecast for 400km stretch of coastline from Hervey Bay to Coolangatta.

Bureau of Meteorology forecaster Matt Marshall said the extent of any severe weather will depend on if the system tracks slightly west or slightly east.

"The trough is sort of sitting offshore at the moment, most of it out on the water, and the big question is today is it going to move a little bit closer to the coast or is it going to move a little bit away from the coast," he said.

"That's going to answer the question where are we going to see the heaviest rainfall.

"If it moves a little bit closer to the coast over the course of today, then we're really going to see rainfall pick up over that warning area. If it moves further away, most of the rainfall will fall out over the sea.

"We just don't know for sure the movement of this system … all it takes is it to move just a little bit to the west and then you're going to see all of that rainfall on the coast."

He said Greater Brisbane is unlikely to experience any severe weather, but rain is likely.

Authorities are warning of life-threatening flash flooding for large parts of the southern Queensland coastline. Picture: Nigel Hallett
Authorities are warning of life-threatening flash flooding for large parts of the southern Queensland coastline. Picture: Nigel Hallett

"Hopefully, everyone can stay safe and stay up-to-date with the BOM's warnings - as well as local government warnings and SES alerts," the Bureau of Meteorology's Michael Gray said.

Residents in the state's southeast have been told to stay inside until Tuesday given heavy rain, which may lead to dangerous and life-threatening flash flooding, is expected to lash the region.

Other areas of Queensland are expected to be hammered with up to 160mm of rain in six-hour windows.

Damaging wind gusts of around 90km/h have also been predicted into Monday.


Previous warnings from BOM for "life-threatening and dangerous" rain with six-hourly falls up to 250mm are now considered unlikely due to the position of the system.

Lady Elliot Island, off the coast of Gladstone, recorded 119mm in the gauges since 9am Sunday.

Mr Marshalls said the low is expected to mostly clear from tomorrow and especially getting into mid next week.

Damaging wind gusts of around 90km/h have also been predicted for that 400km stretch throughout Monday.

Campers from Seventeen Seventy to Bribie Island were told late yesterday their "window of opportunity" to pack up and leave had passed as a subtropical low hit the region and a new severe weather warning was issued.

The severe weather system is expected to make landfall later today, slamming into Fraser Island and Hervey Bay before tracking south.
The severe weather system is expected to make landfall later today, slamming into Fraser Island and Hervey Bay before tracking south.

 

Campers were on Sunday urged to get out before it was too late: Picture: Scott Powick
Campers were on Sunday urged to get out before it was too late: Picture: Scott Powick

QFES Acting Deputy Commissioner Joanne Greenfield said authorities were particularly concerned about areas in southeast Queensland that received heavy rain last month.

"Those areas got saturated, particularly in the coast and down to the Gold Coast, so some of those creeks and riverine areas are likely to rise quite quickly because they've already had a big downpour," she said.

When asked on Sunday afternoon what the advice was for people camping in areas including Fraser Island, Rainbow Beach and Double Island Point, Ms Greenfield said the window to move was "probably closing".

Gale wind warnings are in place for waters off the Sunshine Coast and Gold Coast today.

A hazardous surf warning is active today for the Capricornia Coast, Fraser Island Coast and Sunshine Coast Waters.

"We also may see some dangerous surf around the Gold Coast too," Mr Gray said.

"There's already a lot of traffic on Easter Monday anyway, but you combine that with the rainfall, potential for roads to be cut off, it'll be an interesting couple of days."

Ms Greenfield said QFES said it was important people in affected areas keep up to date with the latest advice and not drive through flood waters.

"Have a second route planned if you can so you don't have to head down a flooded road. And if it's flooded just hold back, don't drive through it," she said.

RAINFALL FORECAST FOR MONDAY

Maroochydore 90-150mm

Surfer's Paradise 40-80mm

Brisbane 40-80mm

Bundaberg 25-45mm

Originally published as 250mm rain, 90km/h winds: Severe weather to slam into Qld coast



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