WHAT WE KNOW

  • Tropical Cyclone Marcia is a category four cyclone and continues to intensify
  • It is expected to cross the coastline between Mackay and Gladstone on Friday morning. 
  • Wind gusts of up to 270km/h have already been recorded
  • Between 200 to 500mm of rain could come down between Thursday and Saturday
     
  • Sandbags are being made available by local councils and SES groups
     
  • Residents are being warned they could be isolated by floodwaters for days
     
  • More than 200 swiftwater rescue crews sent to areas likely to flood

 

EVACUATION Centres at Sarina, St Lawrence and Yeppoon are open as central Queensland prepares for Tropical Cyclone Marcia. 

The Category four cyclone is estimated to be 170 kilometres north east of St Lawrence and 235 kilometres north of Yeppoon and is moving south south west at nine kilometres per hour.

It is still forecast to cross the coast on Friday morning as a category five system. 

LATEST UPDATES FRIDAY HERE

11:00 PM

RESIDENTS between St Lawrence and Gladstone are bracing as the eye of Tropical Cyclone Marcia continues its path towards the coast.

The cyclone warning extends to coastal areas between Mackay and Double Island Point as well as inland to Blackwater, Moura, Biloela, Monto, Taroom, Mundubbera and Murgon.

The latest forecast from the weather bureau as the cyclone making landfall between St Lawrence and Gladstone during Friday morning. 

Severe Tropical Cyclone Marcia strengthened very rapidly during Thursday. The system has stabilised within the category four range over the past few hours but may still reach category five before landfall.

BOM warns that the core of the cyclone is very destructive, with wind gusts up to 295 km/h.

The south southwesterly movement of the cyclone has slowed down again, and is tracking at seven kilometres an hour.

Heavy rainfall is occurring about some coastal and island communities between Mackay and Double Island Point, and is expected to continue, and extend inland, during Friday. A Flood Watch is current for the area.

Cyclone Marcia.
Cyclone Marcia. Contributed

10:00 PM

THE cyclone warning from Bowen to Mackay has been cancelled but residents between Mackay and Double Island Point are urged to remain vigilant as severe Severe Tropical Cyclone Marcia continues to bear down on the coast.

The warning also extends inland to Blackwater, Moura Biloela, Monto Taroom, Mundubbera and Murgon. 

Marcia is still a category four cyclone, but is expected to develop into a category five by the time it makes landfall.

St LawrenceOgmore and Malborough residents have been ordered to self-evacuate or enact their emergency plans. 

READ MORE: Service stations slammed for hiking prices ahead of Marcia

>> WILL school be open on Friday? View the Government's full list of closed schools, early childhood and care services here >>

>> Read the latest warning information on Severe Tropical Cyclone Marcia on the BOM site >>

9:00 PM

SEVERE Tropical Cyclone Marcia is slowing down as she approaches the Queensland coast.   

The BOM's latest forecast still classifies the storm as a category four cyclone but predicts it will intensify to a category five by the time it reaches land early on Friday morning.   

At 9pm, Marcia was 145 kilometres east north east of Mackay and 265 kilometres north of Yeppoon moving west south west at nine kilometres per hour.   

The Bureau of Meteorology's cyclone tracking map as at 9pm on Thursday.
The Bureau of Meteorology's cyclone tracking map as at 9pm on Thursday.

 

FOLLOW OUR ROLLING COVERAGE BELOW:

 

7:00 PM

SEVERE tropical cyclone Marcia continues to intensify and is now forecast to be a category five now for landfall.

The latest warning issued from the BOM has Marcia as a category four cyclone with sustained winds near the centre of 185 kilometres per hour with wind gusts up to 260 kilometres per hour. 

St Lawrence, Ogmore and Malborough residents have been ordered to self-evacuate or enact their emergency plans. 

At 7 pm the centre of the storm was estimated to be 150 kilometres east northeast of Mackay and 285 kilometres north of Yeppoon.

The cyclone's movement has slowed in recent hours, and it is expected to turn more south west during the next few hours and make landfall between Mackay and Gladstone early on Friday.

The last category five tropical cyclone to hit the Queensland coast was Cyclone Larry in 2006.

Destructive winds are expected to develop about coastal and island communities between Mackay and Burnett Heads tonight.

Gales are now occurring about coastal and island communities between Mackay and Double Island Point, and are expected to extend north to Bowen later this evening and inland to areas including Blackwater, Moura, Biloela, Monto, Mundubbera, Taroom, and Murgon overnight and Friday.

The Bureau of Meteorology's cyclone tracking map as at 7pm on Thursday.
The Bureau of Meteorology's cyclone tracking map as at 7pm on Thursday. Bureau of Meteorology

High tides make flooding a serious concern

Abnormally high tides will be experienced today and Friday with water levels expected to rise above the highest tide of the year on the high tide.

Coastal residents between Mackay and Double Island Point are specifically warned of the dangerous storm tide as the cyclone crosses the coast. The sea is likely to rise steadily up to a level well above the normal tide, with damaging waves and flooding of some low-lying areas close to the shoreline. People living in areas likely to be affected by this flooding should take measures to protect their property as much as possible and be prepared to follow instructions regarding evacuation of the area if advised to do so by the authorities.

The Bureau of Meteorology's weather radar at 7.30pm on Thursday.
The Bureau of Meteorology's weather radar at 7.30pm on Thursday. Bureau of Meteorology

Dangerous surf is expected about exposed beaches south of Sandy Cape.

Thunderstorms are expected to develop near the coast between St Lawrence and Hervey Bay ahead of tropical cyclone Marcia crossing the coast. These thunderstorms may produce localised areas of destructive wind gusts in excess of 125 km/hr about coastal and island communities.

Heavy rainfall will develop about coastal and island communities between Mackay and Double Island Point tonight, particularly over areas to the south of the system. A Flood Watch is current for the area.

A separate Severe Weather Warning is current for areas south of Double Island Point and west to the Great Dividing Range.

NASA captured this image of Cyclone Marcia as it bears down on the Queensland coast.
NASA captured this image of Cyclone Marcia as it bears down on the Queensland coast.

TROPICAL CYCLONE MARCIA: Special Coverage

6:00 PM Cyclone Marcia now category four, developing quickly

TROPICAL Cyclone Marcia has grown into a category four system and when it crosses the coast on Friday morning, could cause serious damage to property. 

The Bureau of Meteorology is tracking the storm 160 kilometres east north east of Mackay and 280 kilometres north of Yeppoon.

BOM says Marcia has sustained winds near the centre of 165 kilometres per hour with wind gusts to 230 kilometres per hour. 

It is moving south west at 19 kilometres per hour. 

The cyclone is expected to turn more southwest during the next few hours and make landfall between Mackay and Gladstone early on Friday.

Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) regional director Rob Webb said Marcia has been intensifying far more rapidly than a typical cyclone.

"We've been updating the latest information over the last three, four, five hours, clearly it's been intensifying," he said. 

"At the moment now it has intensified and it looks like it's shifted a little bit further north."

A separate Severe Weather Warning is current for areas south of Double Island Point and west to the Great Dividing Range.

Warning Zone

Bowen to Double Island Point extending inland to Blackwater, Moura, Biloela, and Monto

Watch Zone

Adjacent inland areas between Bundaberg and Double Island Point, extending inland to include Mundubbera, Gayndah, and Murgon

The Bureau of Meteorology's cyclone tracking map as at 6pm on Thursday.
The Bureau of Meteorology's cyclone tracking map as at 6pm on Thursday. Bureau of Meteorology

 

4:30 PM:

CYCLONE Marcia has intensified to a category three system and is expected to hit Queensland early on Friday.

The Bureau of Meteorology has issued an updated warning, stating the cyclone now has sustained winds near the centre of 155 kilometres per hour with wind gusts to 220 kilometres per hour.

It is now expected to make landfall between Mackay and Gladstone at a category four strength.

Tropical Cyclone Marcia is now estimated to be 290 kilometres north of Yeppoon and 200 kilometres east north east of Mackay.

It is moving west south-west at 26 kilometres per hour.

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk stepped out of a disaster management meeting this afternoon and told the media the situation had changed "drastically" since this morning.

" Since this morning, it has gone from a Category 1 to a 3 and we're likely to see Category 4," she said.

"There will be hourly updates given from here on in because we want Queenslanders to have the most up-to-date information. 

FAST FACTS

• State Emergency Service (SES) volunteers have received more than 780 requests for assistance in the past 24 hours;

• These requests are concentrated in south-east Queensland, particularly on the Sunshine Coast, and are predominantly for requests for sandbags

• SES volunteers and QFES Rapid Damage Assessment teams are standing by, ready to respond 

• Swift water rescue technicians have been stationed across the state at areas that are likely to be impacted by storm surge, flash flooding or inundation

• More than 150 additional QFES staff and around 4,500 Rural Fire Service Queensland (RFSQ) volunteers on standby, ready to be deployed

2.30 PM Marcia to become category three cyclone on Friday

WEATHER experts are predicting Tropical Cyclone Marcia will intensify to Category 3 before it makes landfall early Friday morning.

The storm is expected to bring winds of up to 185km/h as it hits the coast.

The cyclone is at category 2 as it hovers off the coast but is expected to intensify by about 1am.

"Marcia continues to intensify, category 3 now predicted at landfall,'' the bureau said in its advice at 2.30pm.

Affected areas include Mackay to Double Island Point extending inland to Blackwater, Moura, Biloela, and Monto

The watch zone now includes adjacent inland areas between Bundaberg and Double Island Point, extending inland to include Mundubbera, Gayndah, and Murgon

At 1pm, it remained a category 2 cyclone with sustained winds near the centre of 100 kilometres per hour with wind gusts to 150 kilometres per hour.

It was within 20 kilometres of 20.3 degrees South 151.4 degrees East, estimated to be 320 kilometres north northeast of Yeppoon and 245 kilometres east northeast of Mackay.

It was moving southwest at 26 kilometres per hour.

Tropical Cyclone Marcia has been moving southwest towards the Queensland coast while intensifying.

The cyclone is expected to maintain this general motion through to landfall on the eastern Queensland coast between St Lawrence and Gladstone early on Friday. It is now forecast to reach category 3 intensity by landfall.

The bureau is expecting category two Tropical Cyclone Marcia to remain a cyclone at least until tomorrow afternoon as it makes it way south.

Marcia is expected to hit land somewhere between St Lawrence, located between Mackay and Rockhampton, and Bundaberg early tomorrow morning and move south.

Most of Queensland south of Mackay is bracing for potential flooding and strong winds.

At the moment the cyclone is sitting 250km to the north east of Mackay and has wind gusts of up to 130kmh, but this is expected to intensify to 150kmh when it hits land.

The Bureau's Queensland Regional Director Rob Webb said more than 300mm of rain was expected to fall in some areas as the storm moved south over the coming days, and flood watches have been issued for catchments including Dawson, Calliope, Boyne, Baffle, Kolan, Burnett, Cherwell-Burrum, Mary, Noosa, Maroochy, Mooloolah, Brisbane, Logan, Albert, Gold Coast rivers and creeks, Upper Condamine, Border Rivers and Moonie.

"At this stage we're forecasting above minor flood levels but we do expect some of those catchments will go above the major level, it's just a matter of where the rainfall falls, and how heavy the rainfall falls that will drive just how big these floods get," Mr Webb said.

He said once the cyclone crossed the coast, it would decrease to a category one cyclone within six hours, and then would not be a cyclone anymore by tomorrow afternoon.

"It doesn't decay immediately, the fact that it's coming across as a healthy category two system at the moment means it will take a little bit longer to spin down. It will die in the hours following but we'd say about 6-12 hour period I'd be giving it at the moment."

TROPICAL Cyclone Marcia has been upgraded to a Category 2 system and is expected  to cross the Capricorn Coast early Friday morning.

A surfer makes the most of a wave on the Sunshine Coast ahead of Cyclone Marcia. Photo: Ian Ward
A surfer makes the most of a wave on the Sunshine Coast ahead of Cyclone Marcia. Photo: Ian Ward

Queensland facing one wild ride as Marcia bears down

At 10am, the system was recording sustained winds near the centre of 95 kilometres per hour with wind gusts to 130 kilometres per hour.

It was within 30 kilometres of 19.9 degrees South 152.1 degrees East, estimated to be 385 kilometres north northeast of Yeppoon and 555 kilometres north of Bundaberg.

It was moving southwest at 23 kilometres per hour.
 

The cyclone is expected to maintain this general motion through to landfall on the eastern Queensland coast between St Lawrence and Bundaberg early on Friday.

It should cross the coast between St Lawrence and Bundaberg early Friday morning.


She might be a Brady, but that doesn't make Marcia any less terrifying.

Marcia Marcia Marcia! #TCMarcia #Cyclone #Marcia #cycloneMarcia

A photo posted by Mathew Burke (@dktr_burke) on


Destructive winds of up to 150 km/hr may develop about the coast and islands near the centre on Friday morning.

Gales are expected to develop about coastal and island communities between Mackay and Double Island Point, and adjacent inland areas from Mackay to Monto, during today in the late afternoon or evening.

Abnormally high tides will be experienced today and Friday with water levels expected to rise above the highest tide of the year on the high tide.

The Bureau of Meteorology's tracking map for Tropical Cyclone Marcia, as at 11am on Thursday.
The Bureau of Meteorology's tracking map for Tropical Cyclone Marcia, as at 11am on Thursday. Bureau of Meteorology

TROPICAL CYCLONE MARCIA: Special Coverage

 

Firefighters/SES urge residents to take shelter as cyclone approaches

Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFES) is advising residents from Rockhampton to Double Island Point to prepare to take shelter.

Higher than normal tides, dangerous surf conditions and rainfall totals exceeding 300mm over a 24-hour period in some areas are forecast, so there is also a risk of tidal and flash flooding.

QFES Deputy Commissioner Mark Roche said residents should monitor the cyclone tracking map on the BoM website and consult with their local council to determine if they are at risk.

"Everyone should know their cyclone or storm surge risk and be aware of what measures you need in place," Mr Roche said.

"If you are located in an area which is likely to be impacted by localised flooding, move vehicles, outdoor equipment, garbage, chemicals and poisons to higher locations.

"Every family should already have an emergency kit prepared and an emergency plan in place should you need to leave your home.

"Stay tuned to warnings via a battery-operated radio or on the BoM website to keep up-to-date on changing conditions."
 

Below is a wind map visualisation showing TC Marcia off the Queensland coast on Thursday morning.

 

Mr Roche said if an official evacuation order has been issued, residents must leave their home immediately and seek shelter with friends or family who are further inland or on higher ground.

"Before leaving, turn off all electricity, gas and water, unplug all appliances and lock your doors," he said.

"Ensure your family members are wearing strong shoes and suitable clothing. Take your emergency kit and put your evacuation plan into action.

"Through the worst of the activity, shelter in place and stay inside until the cyclone has passed. Even if it seems calm, do not venture outside until you have received official advice that the threat has passed."
 

 

Mr Roche also reminded residents affected by flooding to remember: if it's flooded, forget it.

"Parents, please also discourage your children from playing or swimming in flooded creeks and drains. Floodwaters are deadly and the dangers are lurking beneath the surface."

Dangerous surf is expected about exposed beaches south of Sandy Cape.

Thunderstorms are expected to develop near the coast between St Lawrence and Hervey Bay ahead of tropical cyclone Marcia crossing the coast.

These thunderstorms may produce localised areas of destructive wind gusts in excess of 125 km/hr about coastal and island communities.

Heavy rainfall will develop about coastal and island communities between Mackay and Double Island Point today, particularly over areas to the south of the system. A Flood Watch is current for the area.

Premier tells Queensland to prepare for flooding in coming days

QUEENSLAND will flood in the next few days, the Premier has warned, but it is unlikely to inundate homes at this stage.

"We know with this significant rainfall there will be flooding," Ms Palaszczuk said this morning, following a disaster management committee meeting.

"Not major flooding, but we do expect flooding."

She said it was expected Cyclone Marcia, a category one at this stage, was expected to hit land early tomorrow morning.

"At this stage we expect the cyclone will cross the coast between St Lawrence and Bundaberg early Friday morning," she said.

She said wind gusts could be up to 150kmh.

Queensland's State Disaster Coordinator Steve Gollschewski said communities from Rockhampton south would be impacted in some way.

He also said they were not expecting major flooding at this stage, but it could change.

"As it gets closer we will have much more certainty," he said.

"However, the other things to remember that are a little different this time is that the ground is not saturated so the amount of rain it'll take some time for it to soak in and then starts to run off. We have capacity in catchments in the dams to be able to absorb some of rainfall that goes in."
 

Already State Emergency Services crews have had 369 calls for help, which have mostly been addressed.

Queensland Fire and Emergency Service has dispatched Swift Water Rescue teams to key at-risk areas.

Mr  Gollschewski urged people to prepare their homes for strong winds and heavy rain, keep in touch with loved ones and ensure they have enough supplies.

Ms Palaszczuk said their 31 local government area groups had been activated and an evacuation centre at Yeppon was ready.  Another meeting will be held this afternoon.

"There is going to be heavy rainfall," Ms Palaszczuk said. "So Queenslanders need to stay out of the river systems, the beaches. There is going to be a lot of erosion and a lot of impacts on our local beaches."

 

Cyclone Marcia: Storm tide could force evacuations

The big surf at Mooloolaba ahead of Cyclone Marcia. Photo: Willis Stinger / Facebook
The big surf at Mooloolaba ahead of Cyclone Marcia. Photo: Willis Stinger / Facebook

BEACHSIDE Queenslanders are being told to prepare to evacuate if feel threatened by the potentially devastating storm tides that will hit shorelines first at 10am and again at 10pm.

These will be higher than the year's highest forecast tides, and threaten to flood low-lying areas.

In less than 24 hours, Tropical Cyclone Marcia is predicted to make landfall near Yeppoon in Central Queensland, delivering potentially violent thunderstorms and damaging winds.

The cyclone is expected to intensify from a Category One to Category Two system by Friday morning as reaches the coast.

It was formally labelled a cyclone overnight.

Bursts of wind near the cyclone's centre are now topping 120kmh, but are expected to hit 150kmh..

The Bureau of Meteorology is warning that storm tides at 10am and 10pm today and tomorrow will put coastal homes at risk.

The Cyclone Marcia warning zone now runs from Mackay to Double Island Point, south of the Fraser Coast, and inland along the coastline to Monto.

Qantas has now suspended all flights at Hervey Bay and Bundaberg airports.
 

Once it crosses the coastline, the system is expected to deteriorate into a tropical low, drenching regions from Mackay to northern New South Wales with more than 300mm of rain.

In some areas, this could top 500mm.

There is also a marine wind warning for Queensland boaties:

Storm Force Wind Warning - Mackay and Capricornia coast

Gale Warning - North East Gulf of Carpentaria, Hervey Bay and Fraser Island Coast

Strong Wind Warning for Townsville Coast, Sunshine Coast , Moreton Bay and Gold Coast waters

 

Cyclone Marcia to gather strength as she hits Qld

TROPICAL Cyclone Marcia is expected to strengthen and cross the Capricorn coast in the next 24 hours, the Bureau of Meteorology warned on Thursday morning.

The affected areas still include from Mackay to Double Island Point, the bureau said in its latest advice at 4.50am.

At 4am, Marcia recorded winds near the centre of 75 kilometres per hour with wind gusts to 100 kilometres per hour.

It was located within 55 kilometres of 19.1 degrees South 153.1 degrees East, estimated to be 510 kilometres north northeast of Yeppoon and 650 kilometres north of Bundaberg.

It was moving southwest at 32 kilometres per hour.

"Tropical Cyclone Marcia is moving quickly through the Coral Sea towards the Queensland coast,'' the bureau said.

"The recent movement has been to the southwest, and it is expected to maintain this general motion through to landfall on the eastern Queensland coast between St Lawrence and Bundaberg early on Friday.

"Tropical Cyclone Marcia is expected to slowly intensify, with the possibility of reaching category 2 intensity by landfall.

A separate Severe Weather Warning is current for areas south of Double Island Point and west to the Great Dividing Range.

The Bureau of Meteorology's tracking map for Tropical Cyclone Marcia, as at 5am on Thursday.
The Bureau of Meteorology's tracking map for Tropical Cyclone Marcia, as at 5am on Thursday.

Heavy rain and locally damaging wind gusts are possible from the coast to the ranges between Double Island Point and Brisbane, extending to the state's southern border and the eastern Darling Downs later today and Friday, the bureau says in that advice.

The heavy rain may lead to flash flooding, with some 24 hour totals in excess of 300mm likely. Damaging wind gusts may reach around 90 km/hr, mostly near the coast and ranges.

Water levels on the high tide are likely to exceed the highest tide of the year from today. Dangerous surf conditions and beach erosion are also expected on exposed beaches.

A flood watch is current for the Wide Bay and Burnett, Southeast Coast and the Darling Downs & Granite Belt District forecast districts.

A Tropical Cyclone Warning is current for areas between Mackay and Double Island Point. A Tropical Cyclone Watch is current for adjacent inland areas from St Lawrence to Double Island Point.

Locations which may be affected include Warwick, Gold Coast, Toowoomba, the Lockyer Valley, Ipswich, Brisbane, Caboolture, the Sunshine Coast, Kingaroy and Gympie.

Gale force winds this afternoon or tonight

Gales are expected to develop about coastal and island communities between Mackay and Double Island Point late this afternoon or evening.

Destructive wind gusts to 150 km/hr may develop about the coast and islands near the centre of Tropical Cyclone Marcia on Friday morning.

Heavy rainfall will develop about coastal and island communities between Mackay and Double Island Point today, particularly over areas to the south of the system.

A Flood Watch is current for the area

Abnormally high tides will be experienced today and Friday with water levels expected to rise above the highest tide of the year on the high tide.

Coastal residents between St Lawrence and Double Island Point are specifically warned of the dangerous storm tide as the cyclone crosses the coast, the bureau advice said.

The sea is likely to rise steadily up to a level well above the normal tide, with damaging waves and flooding of some low-lying areas close to the shoreline.

People living in areas likely to be affected by this flooding should take measures to protect their property as much as possible and be prepared to follow instructions regarding evacuation of the area if advised to do so by the authorities.

Dangerous surf is expected to develop about exposed beaches south of Sandy Cape from this morning.

People between Mackay and Double Island Point should take precautions and listen to the next advice at 8 am.

- Residents are urged to heed advice from their local councils

- For cyclone preparedness and safety advice, visit Queensland's Disaster Management Services website (www.disaster.qld.gov.au)

- For emergency assistance call the Queensland Fire and Emergency Service (QFES) on 132 500 (for assistance with storm damage, rising flood water, fallen trees on buildings or roof damage).

 

Photo source: Mackay Weather Chasers, Facebook
Photo source: Mackay Weather Chasers, Facebook

CYCLONE ADVICE: What you should be doing now

CYCLONE WATCH: What can we expect if the big one comes?

WILD WEATHER: Sign up here to be kept up to date on the latest

Marcia is born: storm officially becomes Tropical Cyclone

7: 50PM: TROPICAL Cyclone Marcia has officially been named as the storm in the Coral Sea intensifies.   

The latest advice from the weather bureau shows there is a strong chance Marcia will develop into a category two before making landfall early on Friday.   

As it stands, Marcia is a category one with sustained winds near the centre of 65 kilometres per our with gusts up to 95 kilometres per hour.   

At 7:48 PM it was estimated to be 760 kilometres north east of Yeppoon and 850 kilometres north north east of Bundaberg, moving south west at 22 kilometres per hour.  

During today, the system curved onto a southwesterly track, and it is expected to maintain this general motion through to landfall on the eastern Queensland coast between St Lawrence and Hervey Bay early on Friday.

 

5:00 PM Storm tracks south west, expected landfall early Friday

THE Tropical low developing in the coral sea has curved onto a southwesterly track.

The BOM predicts it will make landfall on the eastern Queensland coast between St Lawrence and Hervey Bay early on Friday.

The low is expected to slowly intensify, with a high chance of becoming a tropical cyclone overnight into Thursday morning, and reaching category two intensity at landfall.

This system will result in significant impacts over eastern Queensland districts south of about St Lawrence regardless of whether or not it transitions to a tropical cyclone, and therefore a separate Severe Weather Warning is current for areas south of St Lawrence and west to the Great Dividing Range.

4:30 PM Premier: 50% chance brewing storm to become cyclone

QUEENSLAND Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk says there is a 50 % chance the tropical low developing in the Coral Sea could become a category one cyclone by Friday.   

Ms Palaszczuk addressed the media a short time ago and told coastal residents to expect up to 500 mm of rain and winds up to 90 km/h.   

Queensland Fire and Emergency Services Commissioner Katarina Carroll urged people to stay away from flood waters and stormwater drains.

Ms Carroll said about 200 trained swift-water rescuers had been sent to various locations on the coast. She also said police and fire and rescue crews were ready.

"It is a large geographic area but most rain is expected on coastal and hinterland areas, so we're prepared in those areas in particular," she said.

Flash flooding, beach erosion and rough surf were expected.

Ms Carroll said the state was in a better condition to cope with this wild weather than previous times.

"We're in a fortunate situation that the ground is not saturated, as it has been in the past, and the rain hasn't been ongoing for a number of weeks," she said.

"We do know the dams have the capacity to tolerate the event in the next couple of days. But we do need to be prepared."

Ms Palaszczuk confirmed the State Disaster Coordination Group met on Wednesday.

The main state coordination centre in Brisbane will be fully operational by Thursday morning.

Ms Palaszczuk said the disaster cabinet committee would meet Thursday morning and more updates would be available afterward. 

Queensland coastline prepares

Meanwhile residents from Rockhampton to the Gold Coast are preparing for the storm.   

Seven News reports beaches from Burleigh to The Spit have been closed for dune work in case of a tidal surge.   

QFES Deputy Commissioner Mark Roche said regardless of whether the system becomes a cyclone or not, it was vital for residents to prepare for severe weather now. 

"Check your house, in particular the roof, is in good condition, keep branches clear of the house, clean gutters and clear your property of debris," Mr Roche said.  

"Also ensure your emergency kit is well stocked with essential items and is kept close by.  

"If you live in an area which could be impacted by localised flooding, move vehicles, outdoor equipment, indoor items, garbage, chemicals and poisons to higher locations."

Mr Roche said the heavy rainfall could result in the flooding of creeks, drains and causeways. 

"The simple and constant message here is: if it's flooded, forget it," he said. 

12 PM If Cyclone Marcia hits, expect flights to be affected

QUEENSLAND'S largest airport is bracing for possible flight delays and cancellations as a tropical low off the state's coast edges closer to the mainland.

Brisbane Airport Corporation has confirmed that planes may be grounded and services affected if the low -- expected to become Cyclone Marcia by Friday -- follows its forecast path.

CYCLONE WATCH: What can we expect if the big one comes?

BAC spokeswoman Leonie Vandeven said any extended weather issues "will undoubtedly have an impact, not just on Brisbane's flights but on the national network".

"There may be periods where activity on the tarmac is paused, particularly if there is lightning," she said.

"There is nothing we can possibly do.

"Obviously the aircraft and systems in place with Airservices Australia and airlines."

Flights throughout the state could be cancelled or delayed if a tropical low crosses land on Friday as Cyclone Marcia
Flights throughout the state could be cancelled or delayed if a tropical low crosses land on Friday as Cyclone Marcia

The Brisbane airport manages 700 flight movements per day, including those linking the state's capital to key regional centres.

Delays or cancellations at BAC have the risk of piling up, particularly if the bad weather lasts more than 24 hours.

"Of course, if we have a weather impact that's stretching the breath of eastern Queensland, it was have an impact on those services."

Such impacts may also have an impact on fly-in, fly-out workers that travel from Central Queensland mines back to their Brisbane or south-east Queensland homes.

WILD WEATHER: Sign up here to be kept up to date on the latest

Brisbane Airport operates 24 hours a day, so it will be open regardless of the weather.

Travellers are being asked to contact their airlines for more information, or visit the Brisbane Airport's website or smart phone app for updates.

 

Queensland bracing for a very Brady storm: Cyclone Marcia

Marcia Brady
Marcia Brady

THE potentially devastating tropical low off the Queensland coast will take the name of one of the world's best-known television characters.

Come Friday, that low may become a Category One cyclone named Marcia.

Rockhampton Bureau of Meteorology duty observer Brendan Bradford confirmed the name earlier today.

Already the not-yet Cyclone Marcia has captured the attention of the state, with meteorologists expecting her to deliver more than 400mm of rain on the south-east coast when it makes landfall on Friday morning.

The tropical low remains about 900km north-east of Mackay.

The watch zone for the low extends from St Lawrence, south of Mackay to Double Island Point.

This cyclone season, we have already had Kate that lasted just a few days off Cooktown.

Cyclone Lam is currently approaching the Carpentaria coastline.

Now we have Marcia.

Once this would-be cyclone passes, we will then head on to 'N'.

The next five names for cyclones will be Nathan, Olwyn, Quang, Raquel and Stan.

Gale force winds to come, as Queensland on cyclone alert

GALE force winds are expected to start rattling Queensland towns from St Lawrence to Double Island Point, north of the Sunshine Coast, from Thursday evening as it prepares to cross the coast on Friday morning.

The Bureau of Metorology's latest warning at 11.12am predicts the tropical low is likely to evolve into a Category One cyclone by the time it makes landfall.

It is looming large beyond the horizon, haunting an area 910km northeast of Mackay.

Wind gusts near the centre of the low are hitting 85kmh.

Areas south of Double Island Point, including the Sunshine Coast are being told to prepare for a massive drenching, with an earlier alert warning that more than 300mm could fall within 24 hours from Thursday.

The tide will at its highest point for the year.

"Abonrmally high tides will be experienced as the system approached the coast," the BOM statement read.

"Water levels are expected to ride above the highest tide of the year on the high tide on Thursday.

"Dangerous surf is expected to develop about exposed beaches south of Sandy Cape from early Thursday."

 

6AM UPDATE: Queensland towns put on cyclone alert

DANGEROUS winds, heavy rain, violent surf conditions and "abnormally high tides" are on the cards for much of Queensland's coastline, as a tropical low in the Coral Sea threatens to evolve into a cyclone.

A tropical low pressure system is looming in the Coral Sea about 1150km north northeast of Bundaberg.

Coastal areas from Capricornia in the north through to the south-east Queensland coast have been warned to prepare.

Flooding is possible for Capricornia, Wide Bay and Burnett and the south-east coast.

Beaches between Double Island Point and the Gold Coast are expected to endure their highest tide of the year and perilous surf conditions.

These would include all beaches on the Sunshine Coast, Moreton Bay, likely down to the Queensland-New South Wales border.

Inland areas including the Granite Belt and Darling Downs will also be threatened by the heavy rains and winds.

It comes as Cyclone Lam continues to linger north of the Gulf of Carpentaria.

This new low is expected to cross the coast between Rockhampton and Gympie early on Friday.

 

WANT THE LATEST ON THE STORM COVERAGE IN YOUR INBOX?

REGISTER FOR FOR BREAKING NEWS ALERTS HERE

 (If you already registered with us you should receive them)

The Bureau of Meteorology released an urgent warning at 5.19am today.

"Heavy rain and locally damaging wind gusts are possible from the coast to the ranges between Double Island Point and Brisbane from Thursday, extending to the state's southern border and into the eastern Darling Downs during Thursday night into Friday.

"The heavy rain may lead to flash flooding, with some 24 hour totals in excess of 300mm likely.

"Damaging wind gusts may reach around 90kmh, mostly near the coast and ranges."

 

 

 


Fun day exposes kids to tennis

Fun day exposes kids to tennis

Come along to the Emerald Tennis Fun Day next weekend.

Fran Underhill: Local author is a force for positivity

Fran Underhill: Local author is a force for positivity

Fran sends a message to children.

No local blood service...

No local blood service...

Emerald local raising awareness on the importance of donating blood.

Local Partners