Cyclone Watch cancelled as Oma stays offshore

Gwen Vasquez
February 22, 2019

A cyclone watch for the southern Queensland and northern New South Wales coast has been cancelled as Tropical Cyclone Oma weakens to a category one system.

Surfers make the most of large surf at Snapper Rocks on the Gold Coast on Thursday.Credit:Dave Hunt/AAP.

Mr Blazak said Oma was last night a Category-2 system, packing wind gusts of up to 130km/h.

Gale-force winds were expected to hit coastal parts of Queensland from Friday, particularly the islands and exposed coasts.

Ms Pattie said gale-force winds were expected in the next 48 hours, with more information to come on which areas would be most affected.

Water levels on the morning high tide are expected to exceed the highest tide of the year by approximately one metre over the next few days.

People in the cyclone watch zone have been urged to think about what preparations they might need to make if the cyclone threat increases. These sandbags are available for collection at depots at Darra, Morningside, Newmarket SES Depot and the Zillmere-North Depot.

As daring beach-goers have captured fantastic photos of the risky swell, forecasters are warning that ocean conditions will worsen before Cyclone Oma actually hits.

An analysis provided to emergency groups shows a possibility the weather event will spear north and sit near Bundaberg for much of next week. This has triggered a cyclone watch to be issued for northern New South Wales and south-east Queensland.

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The Cyclone's expected path remains uncertain, but the landfall of Oma is likely around the weekend only.

Meanwhile the Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) issued a severe weather warning for high tides for people in the Wide Bay, Burnett and south east coast at 11.00pm on Tuesday.

"Forecast certainly is shaping up to see the most likely scenario that Cyclone Oma will approach the cost this weekend, and a coastal crossing can not be ruled out at this stage", Gunn added.

"But that would be maybe a better scenario than if it lingers off the coast".

"We've already seen the seas and swells start to pick up with the buoys recording two-to-three-metre waves just offshore this morning", she said.

"You don't really want a crossing", he said.

"It would end up decaying and dropping rainfall in those dry areas".

While it is unusual for a cyclone to track this far south, it is not unprecedented.

Queensland has not seen cyclonic conditions like this for some time, so How said it was unclear how severe the effect of Cyclone Oma could be.

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