Cyclone Oma: Gigantic waves to smash Aussie coast

Cyclone Oma: Gigantic waves to smash Aussie coast

Closer to Fiji and New Caledonia than the Australian mainland, Oma is tracking ominously southwest, with a growing number of predictive models forecasting the cyclone will cross the Queensland coast between Mackay and Fraser Island.

As a result of the cyclone, abnormally high tides are expected along the southern Queensland coast, in addition to strong winds and increased swell.

Oma was about 890km north-east of Brisbane, packing wind gusts of up to 130km/h.

The storm system is likely to keep heading slowly towards southeast Queensland on Friday although it is not expected to cross the coast in the next few days.

The Bureau of Meteorology warned: "Although Oma is not expected to make landfall in the coming days, it will be close enough to produce direct impacts along the Queensland and NSW coast".

Ms Pattie said gale-force winds were expected in the next 48 hours, with more information to come on which areas would be most affected.

They are expected to break high tide records again by about one metre on the morning high tides on Thursday and Friday morning.

Sandbags will be available at 38 Shamrock Road at Darra, 9 Redfern Street at Morningside, 66 Wilston Road at Newmarket, 33 Jennings Street at Zillmere and Herbert Street at Lota.

An analysis provided to emergency groups shows a possibility the weather event will spear north and sit near Bundaberg for much of next week.

A flood watch is in place for catchments from south of Gladstone to the New South Wales border. "Forecast rainfall totals are largely dependent on the cyclone track, and there still are a wide range of scenarios at this point".

Other parts of the country are likely to get wet on Friday, with rain from Taranaki down to Kapiti, and scattered showers over eastern parts of the South Island as southerlies develop behind a front there.

The Cyclone's expected path remains uncertain, but the landfall of Oma is likely around the weekend only.

BoM forecaster Adam Blazak said one of the scenarios was Oma may "linger" off the southeast coast and this potentially could have an enormous impact, creating a sustained deluge.

"We've already seen the seas and swells start to pick up with the buoys recording two-to-three-metre waves just offshore this morning", she said. The storm may linger off the coast only.

The Sunshine Coast, Brisbane and Coolangatta were warned to beware of anomalous high tides, risky surf and gale-force winds expected to occur throughout the weekend.

"You don't really want a crossing", he said.

"Many dry areas will see some welcome rain during the next few days", says Rob.

Have you felt the effects of the cyclone yet?

While it is unusual for a cyclone to track this far south, it is not unprecedented.

"Due to the uncertainty in the future movement, the indicated winds will nearly certainly extend to regions outside the rings on this map", it said.

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