Cyclone Marcia: What to expect for next 24 hours
BY THIS time tomorrow, Tropical Cyclone Marcia - a system with winds swirling at more that 125kmh - has almost certainly hit the Queensland coastline, between Mackay and Double Island Point near Fraser Island.
Its arrival will not be gentle.
This information is subject to change, particularly if Marcia changes her speed, her intensity or her direction.
Bureau of Meteorology has labelled Marcia a Category Two system, which means its wind speeds are between 125kmh and 164kmh.
BOM confirmed on Thursday afternoon it would likely become a category three by the time it reached the coastline.
Based on Bureau of Meteorology on Thursday morning, here is what to expect today and tomorrow.
- From Mackay to Double Island Point, winds will pick up beyond 60kmh - Particularly in Gladstone and Rockhampton.
- On the Sunshine Coast, wind gusts are already hitting 54kmh.
- The first high tide - at 10am - will be a "dangerous storm tide" with damaging waves. These tides may flood low-lying areas near the shoreline.
- Regions from the Fraser Coast north to be particularly affected.
- Heavy rain and potential flash flooding to begin on Sunshine Coast and Brisbane, driven by a trough associated with TC Marcia.
- Heavy rain and flash flooding will continue on Sunshine Coast and Brisbane, but extend to Gold Coast, eastern Darling Downs and New South Wales border.
- Within 24 hours, BOM expects more than 300mm to soak the south-east.
- By 6pm, expect gale winds of 90kmh from Mackay to Fraser Coast
- Into the evening, these winds will be accompanied by dangerous thunderstorms
- These storms form part of Cyclone Marcia
- For those in from Mackay to Double Island Point, winds will increase through the night, from 90kmh to 125kmh to eventually 150kmh - the maximum wind speeds within the cyclone.
- The destructive winds will still be paired with the cyclonic thunderstorms.
At 10pm, the second storm tide will hit, bringing more damaging waves, more flooding of low-lying shoreline areas.
- If Cyclone Marcia crosses the coast before dawn - as predicted - expect devastating winds of up to 150kmh, thunderstorms, flash flooding and storm tides at mid-morning.
Queensland Fire and Emergency Services advises that people should:
- Move your car under cover or away from trees.
- Secure loose outdoor items.
- Seek shelter, preferably indoors and never under trees.
- Beware of fallen trees and powerlines.
- Avoid driving, walking or riding through flood waters.
- Keep clear of creeks and storm drains.
- Surf Life Saving Australia recommends that you stay out of the water and stay well away from surf-exposed areas.
- Check your property regularly for erosion or inundation by sea water, and if necessary raise goods and electrical items.
- For emergency assistance contact the SES on 132 500.