Oma God! Massive 8-Metre Waves Expected As Cyclone Warning Issued
Tropical Cyclone Oma is continuing its path towards the Queensland coast.
Hazardous surf warnings were put in place on Tuesday, with waves between four and eight metres expected to crash along the coast between southern Queensland and northern NSW.
A Watch Cyclone warning has been issued between Bundaberg in Queensland and Ballina in northern NSW. The Bureau of Meteorology issued the warning on Thursday afternoon and will refine the large warning area when more information comes to hand.
Oma was downgraded to a category two cyclone overnight and is currently moving towards Brisbane. The cyclone is sitting 960 kilometres north-east of the city.
There is still a lot of uncertainty about Oma's movements as the weekend nears.
"Tropical cyclone Oma lies west of New Caledonia and is expected to move southwestwards over the next few days, before possibly taking a more westerly or northwesterly track," 10's weather expert Josh Holt said.
"This system will lead to an increase in seas and swells over southern Queensland waters later this week, initially leading to dangerous surf conditions and abnormally high tides with possible beach erosion south of about Fraser Island over the weekend."
The major impacts of the cyclone will be felt from a marine perspective. King tides and gale-force winds will contribute to dangerous conditions for rock fishers, surfers and swimmers.
Heavy rains are also expected over the next few days. As much as 500mm of rain could fall, with the possible risk of flash flooding. The average February rainfall for Brisbane in 130mm.
Members of the public are being urged to follow beach signage and warnings from authorities. Erosion is expected anywhere between Sandy Cape, QLD and northern New South Wales.
"I expect Cyclone Oma to move south-west, and then a ridge to the south steers it back to the Queensland coast and may even bring it to a coastal crossing further north as a weaker system. Possibly as a tropical low," Holt said.
"Early next week, Oma could cross around the central coast or move in a more north-westerly direction parallel to the coast. I must stress it should weaken as this happens."
Across the ditch, New Zealand residents are also being warned of the wild weather conditions Oma is bringing with her.
Local media is warning residents to expect thunderstorms, gale-force winds and heavy rain across most of the nation. A king tide is forecast for the Auckland area that's set to start on Thursday morning.
Initially, the cyclone was headed towards New Zealand, before it turned towards Queensland on Wednesday. The NZ Herald reports there's a chance the weather system could make another change in direction and approach New Zealand on Friday.
Widespread damage has also been reported in Vanuatu and New Caledonia. Power was cut for thousands of homes in New Caledonia, and some roads were flooded.
Much like the damage expected for Queensland, coastal erosion was the main result in Vanuatu.
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