Sunday's predicted rain forecast for Queensland.
Sunday's predicted rain forecast for Queensland. Bureau of Meteorology

Bundy left in limbo as uncertainty rises over Cyclone Owen

UNCERTAINTY over the movements of Cyclone Owen leaves the fate of the Bundaberg region in limbo as residents begin to brace for severe weather.

The Bureau of Meteorology currently forecasts a maximum of 200mm rainfall for Bundaberg on Sunday, a figure influenced by the tropical cyclone's predicted journey south along the east coast.

But BoM meteorologist David Crock said that could all change after Cyclone Owen lingered in the Northern Territory for longer than expected yesterday.

"(Cyclones are) very fickle things to forecast, and this one is certainly living up to that," Mr Crock said.

"Cyclone Owen is likely to cross the coast tomorrow morning and then decay into a tropical low and we expected it, until yesterday, to track down much of the east coast, so that's why there's a lot of really high rainfall totals.

"But some of the modelling is now changing, so we're not quite sure."

He said multiple runs of BoM's atmospheric models over the past 24 hours had revealed drastic changes to the cyclone's predicted movements compared to previous results that had remained consistent over a number of days, assuring the cyclone would move south.

"There is still a chance that it will do that and bring a lot of rain to Bundaberg and areas around there, but there's also a chance that heavy rain could stay up near Cairns and not really impact the east coast further south," Mr Crock said.

"It will still be a pretty stormy weekend, so there's a lot of moisture around and a lot of instability in the atmosphere - there will be showers and storms around, it's just whether or not that really heavy rainfall makes it's way south or if it stays a bit further north."

He said there was "a lot of uncertainty in the forecast at the moment, which is pretty frustrating" but there could still be severe storms with heavy rainfall and the potential of flash-flooding.

"It's a really fluid and dynamic situation at the moment with the forecast for most of the east coast," he said.

BoM will reissue forecasts later today with updated predictions on what the weekend will bring for the Bundaberg region.

Follow our coverage of Cyclone Owen here.

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