A severe weather warning for damaging winds, heavy rainfall, abnormally high tides and dangerous surf has been issued for the Gold Coast, with a “significant rainfall event” set to unfold over the next few days.
According to the Bureau of Meteorology, an upper low over northern New South Wales is forecast to move into southeast Queensland during today and become slow-moving.
A developing surface trough off the southeast Queensland coast will then deepen in response to the upper system, with a low pressure system likely to develop and shift southwestwards towards the coast late on Sunday.
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Abnormally high tides exceeding the highest tide of the year are expected on Sunday morning’s high tide.
“Dangerous surf conditions are also expected to develop during Sunday and in combination with the abnormally high tides could lead to significant coastal erosion about areas exposed to wave action,” BOM warned.
Heavy rain that may lead to flash flooding is forecast to develop late on Sunday, with the weather bureau warning six-hourly rainfall totals of 100mm to 150mm are likely to occur in areas.
“A Flood Watch is also current for catchments from Fraser Island to the Queensland/New South Wales border,” BOM said.
Damaging winds with gusts of around 90km/h are possible from early Sunday afternoon, with the Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast, Coolangatta, Moreton Island, North Stradbroke Island, Fraser Island, Cleveland and Redcliffe all in the firing line.
It’s prompted authorities to issue an urgent warning for Gold Coast residents to prepare now for heavy rainfall and the risk of flash flooding.
“With increased storm activity on the horizon the message is clear, people need to be prepared so they can reduce the impact of severe weather on themselves, loved ones and their properties,” Minister for Fire and Emergency Services Mark Ryan said.
“Staying indoors during bad weather, removing debris from around the home and having emergency and evacuation plans are all simple steps people can take.
“Queensland is no stranger to severe storms, but weather is unpredictable and can catch people off guard if they are unprepared.”
Mr Ryan said it was particularly important for people to plan ahead if they were intending to travel this weekend.
“Many Queenslanders and visitors may be on the road this weekend for holidays or visiting loved ones, so it is important they have a back-up plan, including an alternative route, if the weather takes a turn,” he said.
“Heavy rainfall can cause flash flooding, so it is essential people monitor conditions, follow the advice of authorities and remember: if it’s flooded, forget it.”
Queensland Fire and Emergency Services Commissioner Greg Leach said QFES officers were ready to assist those affected by severe weather.
“QFES has dedicated Fire and Rescue Service swiftwater technicians and experienced State Emergency Service floodboat operators ideally located to help those in need,” Mr Leach said.
“While we are ready, we also need the community to be ready… The steps people take in the lead-up to and during a storm can make all the difference.
“Clearing gutters and removing debris can prevent water damage to homes, while tying down loose items like trampolines and staying away from floodwater and storm drains will reduce the risk of people being caught in dangerous situations.”