Cyclone Oma threatens Queensland
QUEENSLAND is already feeling the effects of a cyclone bearing down northeast of Australia, with high tides, enhancing swells and dangerous surf conditions along the southeast coast.
Cyclone Oma was upgraded to Category 3 over the weekend, after it lashed the northern islands of Vanuatu, reportedly bringing down trees and houses in the area.
The storm brought winds of 110km/h and gusts as high as 140km/h, with wind and flood warnings put in place.
Vanuatu's meteorology service has since downgraded Oma to a Category 2 cyclone.
The storm is expected to impact the Gold Coast, the Sunshine Coast and Fraser Island in coming days, with strong winds, rain and three to four-metre waves forecast towards the end of the week as Oma moves in a south-westerly direction.
Volunteer surf lifesavers have closed Surfers Paradise Beach due to strong currents and have urged people not to enter the water.
"We're expecting dangerous surf conditions to get worse from Wednesday and peaking Friday through to Sunday," Queensland forecaster Lachlan Stoney told news.com.au this morning. "There's potential for some dangerous surf conditions and potentially, even coastal erosion."
He said the surf conditions should ease after next weekend, although he noted there was still some uncertainty around how the cyclone might impact the state.
There was a "low risk" of direct impact on Queensland, but rough conditions and coastal erosion were expected.
Brisbane residents can expect to enjoy a mostly sunny day, with highs of 31 degrees forecast for the city.
Moving south, Sydney will also enjoy highs of 31 degrees, while Melbourne is in for a cooler 24 degrees and possible showers. Hobart will reach highs of 22 degrees today, with a possible chance of showers late this afternoon and evening.
Canberra is in for a scorcher, with tops of 35 degrees and a late shower or two.
Perth will enjoy a cooler morning, but tops of 33 degrees are expected later in the day.