Cyclone Uesi animated GIF image
Cyclone Uesi animated GIF image

Close shave with cyclone to bring rough conditions

STILL reeling from a series of daily storms, Australia's east coast is now being threatened by a category-three cyclone that is edging south from New Caledonia and set to deliver thunderstorms, heavy rain and dangerous surf conditions in coming days.

The Bureau of Meteorology is forecasting Cyclone Uesi, which was yesterday about 1400km from the coast, could enter waters off Queensland but is not expected to make landfall.

"At this point there is no risk of landfall on the east coast, but it might just come close enough to the east coast just to have a little bit of an increase in shower and thunderstorm activity on the Gold Coast on Saturday," meteorologist Kimba Wong said.

"The main effects we're expecting are windy conditions on the coast on Thursday and Friday, and also some increasing swells for the southern coastline so a big easterly swell coming through.

"There is a pretty broad spot of uncertainty there, but it is tracking to the south/southwest over the next few days coming closer to the Australian mainland."

Ms Wong said Cyclone Uesi would likely weaken and become ex-tropical as it headed further south.

A large easterly swell is also expected to bring with it 3m to 3.5m waves, causing hazardous surf conditions.



University of Queensland geography professor Annie Lau warned people to stay away from the beach during the dangerous conditions.

"We can expect some erosion across the beaches, but there is no unprecedented danger at the moment," Dr Lau said.

It comes as several regions broke their February rainfall records, including Coolangatta with 201mm, Oakey at 115mm, and Pratten with 111mm, as more than 1140 requests for assistance were made to the State Emergency Service since last Tuesday.

There were also about 50 swiftwater rescues in the past week.

Multiple flood warnings were put in place yesterday as heavy rainfall closed roads, with a major flood warning issued at 2.30pm for the Georgina River at Marion Downs.

The area is expected to see moderate flood levels at Bedourie on Eyre Creek in the next few days, while people in parts of the Wide Bay and Burnett, Darling Downs, Granite Belt and southeast coast were issued a severe thunderstorm warning with heavy rainfall late yesterday.


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