Science

Cyclone Oma expected to linger until early next week

Cyclone Oma expected to linger until early next week”

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.

Tropical cyclone Oma is continuing its slow, steady course towards Australia's east coast.

These conditions are then expected to extend south over the remaining southeastern Queensland coast during Thursday evening and Friday.

It's expected to continue its slow track towards Brisbane, but at this stage the cyclone is expected to remain offshore.

BOM said the risky surf conditions would likely affect Fraser Island and the coast north of Bargara from this afternoon and evening and the remaining south-east coast overnight into Friday.

Large swells coinciding with king tides are expected to cause erosion, and communities from Bundaberg in Queensland, south to Ballina in NSW, are under a cyclone watch.

The major impacts of the cyclone will be felt from a marine perspective.

Warnings have been issued for high winds and unsafe swell coinciding with king tides along the east coast from Thursday.

The heaviest rain is expected to fall on the eastern parts of both islands on Sunday.

Members of the public are being urged to follow beach signage and warnings from authorities.

Modelling from Europe and the USA shows the system could hit the Queensland coast by the end of the week, bringing 200km/h winds and up to 500mm of rain to the state's southeast, but meteorologist Kimba Wong said there were still many different scenarios for how the cyclone will develop. "Possibly as a tropical low", Holt said. "I must stress it should weaken as this happens".

The worst effects are expected to be galeforce winds, very high swells that could erode beaches, and the possibility of heavy rain.

However, according to Gunn, Queenslanders should prepare to feel the brunt of the weather event over the weekend with potential for Oma to hit land during that time. A king tide is forecast for the Auckland area that's set to start on Thursday morning. The NZ Herald reports there's a chance the weather system could make another change in direction and approach New Zealand on Friday. Power was cut for thousands of homes in New Caledonia, and some roads were flooded.



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