UPDATE @ December 14, 7.15 AM | It may be time to whip out the gumboots… Gold Coasters are being urged to prepare for a few days of wild weather, with heavy rainfall from two severe weather systems set to soak much of the coast from today.
The Bureau of Meteorology says the city can expect up to 200mm of rain to fall over the next four days, as Severe Tropical Cyclone Owen in North Queensland and a low pressure system in the south combine.
Destructive wind gusts and flash flooding are also expected, with residents being urged to prepare their homes for the deluge now.
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Nicholas Shera from the Bureau of Meteorolgoy told myGC that the coast could get severe thunderstorms from midday today.
“These severe storms will likely bring large hail, heavy falls and damaging winds,” he said.
According to BoM, Severe Tropical Cyclone Owen has recently started moving in an easterly direction and is likely to reach Category Four strength by the time it reaches the Queensland Coast either late tonight or early Saturday morning.
“The system remains a category 3 system and is likely to continue developing further over the next 12 to 24 hours as it moves east over open waters through a favourable environment,” the weather bureau said.
“A coastal crossing along the southeast Gulf of Carpentaria coast between Gilbert River Mouth to Pormpuraaw later Friday or early Saturday is likely, and there is a chance it crosses the coast as a category 4 system.”
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk is pleading for residents to listen to authorities.
“Tropical Cyclone Owen will wreak havoc across our state and will come down the east coast,” Ms Palaszczuk told Seven’s Sunrise on Friday morning.
“The main message today is we know a lot of people are starting to prepare for their school holidays… Queensland schools shut today so there are going to be a lot of people on the roads,” she said.
“We need to make sure people are listening to the authorities because anything can happen at any time.
“We don’t want people being complacent, we’re asking people to watch their television stations, listen to their radios.”
— The Today Show (@TheTodayShow) December 13, 2018
EARLIER @ December 13, 10.00 AM | Severe Tropical Cyclone Owen is now officially a Category three storm.
The Bureau of Meteorology says Owen is currently on the coast between Port Roper and Port McArthur, just west of Bing Bong.
It’s expected to intensify further throughout the day, with forecasters predicting it may reach category 4 intensity by the time it crosses the Queensland coast on Friday afternoon.
“Severe Tropical Cyclone Owen is currently moving slowly and is forecast to start moving eastwards back towards the Queensland coast during Thursday,” BoM said.
“A coastal crossing along the southeast Gulf of Carpentaria coast between Karumba to Pormpuraaw later Friday is likely, and there is a chance it crosses the coast as a category 4 system.”
The weather bureau says the Category 3 cyclone has sustained winds near the centre of 150 kilometres per hour with wind gusts to 205 kilometres per hour.
Residents from Numbulwar to the Qld and NT Border are being urged to take shelter and listen to the advice of local authorities.
Severe Tropical #CycloneOwen 🌀has strengthened to Cat 3 and is currently on the coast between Port Roper and Port McArthur. Conditions are favourable for further intenification today to Cat 4 strength: https://t.co/8jWPAwGyJW pic.twitter.com/iigZ6Ht3jU
— Bureau of Meteorology, Queensland (@BOM_Qld) December 12, 2018
EARLIER @ December 12, at 6:45 PM | TROPICAL Cyclone Owen – now a Category 2 storm – is forecast to intensify further, reaching Category 3 strength in the Gulf of Carpentaria before crossing the Far North Queensland coast on Friday.
Bureau of Meteorology Weather Services Manager, Richard Wardle, on Wednesday afternoon said Cyclone Owen was likely to reach Severe Tropical Cyclone intensity if conditions remained favourable.
“A coastal crossing along the southeast Gulf of Carpentaria on Friday afternoon is the most likely scenario with Cyclone Owen forecast to move in a southeasterly direction, weakening over land,” he said.
“Heavy rainfall will be one of the major impacts of this event. A Flood Watch has been updated today to include catchments from the Daintree to Townsville and this will likely be expanded in the coming days.”
Dr Wardle said Cyclone Owen is forecast to then move south down Queensland’s east coast as a low pressure system, bringing with it heavy rainfall with the potential for flash flooding and damaging to destructive winds.
“Access to warm coastal waters and moist onshore flow will contribute to very heavy rainfall,” he said.
“It’s important to be aware that before we begin to feel the effects of this system in the south-east, we are also forecasting severe thunderstorms with heavy falls in southern Queensland on Friday and Saturday.
“We’re certainly in for a very active end to the year weatherwise,” said Dr Wardle.
FIRST at 6:40 AM | A TROPICAL Cyclone Warning has been issued by the weather bureau, with Queenslanders being told to prepare for the biggest weather event we’ve seen since March.
Tropical Cyclone Owen officially reformed into a category 1 system in the southern Gulf of Carpentaria overnight and is expected to develop into a strong category three cyclone by Thursday.
A low pressure system in the south is only expected to make conditions worse, with the two weather systems forecast to combine, bringing heavy rain and severe thunderstorms from Friday.
“This system has the potential to draw moisture southward from Tropical Cyclone Owen, creating a large cloudband with associated severe thunderstorms along much of the east of the continent,” Manager of the Bureau of Meteorology, Extreme Weather Desk, James Taylor said.
“Heavy rainfall associated with the cloudband looks likely to affect Victoria on Thursday then contract southwards during Friday. Southeastern South Australia and northern and eastern Tasmania may also be affected by heavy rainfall over the next few days.”
The Bureau of Meteorology said Tropical Cyclone Owen was currently northwest of Mornington Island.
It is expected to continue moving westwards during Wednesday and then change course to move eastwards and back towards the Queensland coast on Thursday.
“It may reach category 3 intensity by Thursday if conditions remain favourable. A coastal crossing along the southeast Gulf of Carpentaria coast during Friday is most likely,” BoM said.
— Bureau of Meteorology, Queensland (@BOM_Qld) December 11, 2018
Residents from Port McArthur to the QLD/NT Border are being urged to prepare.
“Public shelters are now open If not sheltering at home, go immediately to shelter with family, friends or at one of the public shelters – take your emergency kit with you decide now as high winds and heavy rain are coming,” the Bureau warned.
“Make final preparations to home shelter and take shelter as gales arrive.”
A Cyclone 🌀 WATCH is issued when a #cyclone is expected to bring gale-force winds to coastal areas within 48 hours. A Cyclone ⚠️ WARNING is issued when gales are expected within 24 hours or are already occurring: https://t.co/5iQxyRKzFX pic.twitter.com/N9utap829B
— Bureau of Meteorology, Queensland (@BOM_Qld) December 11, 2018