Oma downgraded but coastal impacts to continue: BOM

CYCLONE Oma has been downgraded to a tropical low and continues to move away from southeast Queensland.

At 11am, now ex-tropical cyclone Oma was situated approximately 800 kilometres offshore of the Gold Coast and was moving further away towards the southwest at about 16km/h.

However, the Bureau of Meteorology says it will continue to closely monitor the system as it adopts a northwest track across the Coral Sea on Sunday and heads towards North Queensland.


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Oma began her journey in Far North Queensland as a strong low pressure system and triggered widespread flooding around Townsville as it delivered intense rainfall to the area.

The Bureau of Meteorology says there is a ‘low chance’ that the system could reform into a tropical cyclone when it enters warmer waters and taps into more favourable conditions.

“At this stage, the system has a low chance of redeveloping into a tropical cyclone, but the system will be carefully monitored,” the Bureau said on Saturday morning.

Issued at 10:56 am AEST Saturday 23 February 2019 | Source: bom.gov.au

Despite losing its cyclone status however, the weather bureau warns Oma is still a strong tropical storm and will continue to generate dangerous surf and damaging winds along the coast.

Despite remaining well offshore, Oma’s coastal impacts will continue to be felt along the southern Queensland and far northern New South Wales coasts.

Savage seas are expected to continue battering the shoreline, while gale force winds with gusts stronger than 90km/h remain possible about the exposed coast and islands between the Sunshine Coast and the Qld/NSW border.

Cyclone Oma on February 22 | Source: NASA Worldview, Earth Observing System Data and Information System (EOSDIS)

The weather bureau warns damaging wind gusts may extend to the southern border ranges, inland to about Springbrook and Tamborine Mountain.

These conditions are expected to continue tomorrow before tapering off and easing from the south on Monday.

“This has the potential to be a significant beach erosion event given the combination of the large surf, abnormally high tides and the fact that these conditions should persist until early next week,” the bureau said.

As a result, all 34 beaches on the Gold Coast will remain closed today and tomorrow.

Monster 12 and 13 metre waves were recorded offshore of Mooloolaba on the Sunshine Coats and Point Lookout on North Stradbroke Island on Friday. These are larger than those whipped up by Ex-Tropical Cyclone Oswald.

A Severe Weather Warning and Hazardous Surf Warning remain current.

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.
  • 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.
  • If near the coastline, stay well away from the water’s edge.
  • Never drive, walk or ride through flood waters. If it’s flooded, forget it.
  • Keep clear of creeks and storm drains.
  • For emergency assistance contact the SES on 132 500.

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