Queensland weather: Tropical Cyclone Linda downgraded as system tracks toward coast
Wed 14 Mar 2018
Tropical Cyclone Linda has been downgraded to a subtropical low, but south-east Queensland residents are still bracing for gale-force winds, abnormally high tides and dangerous surf as the system continues to approach the coast.
Linda developed from a tropical low in the Coral Sea about 3:00pm AEST on Tuesday, despite the Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) earlier saying a cyclone system was unlikely.
But by 10:00am on Wednesday, the BOM said Linda was no more.
Although the system is not expected to cross the coast, senior forecaster Rick Threlfall said it would still pack a punch.
"It's certainly still going to have quite significant impacts so we still have the severe weather warnings out," he said.
"We're looking at dangerous surf, quite a big east to south-easterly swell building up through today with a lot of wave action on top of that so we could see wave heights getting up to 3 or 4 metres."
A dangerous surf warning has been issued, with 3 to 4-metre waves expected on the Sunshine Coast.
Surf Live Saving Queensland advised they would be assessing both the Sunshine Coast and Gold Coast, and would make decisions on whether to close certain beaches, based on the intensity of the conditions.
Queensland Emergency Services Minister Craig Crawford said people needed to take notice of the severe weather warning.
"We're expecting it to decrease and not to come ashore," he said.
"However, as we know from cyclones across all Queensland and we've done this hundreds of times, we have to keep looking at these every hour, on the hour, and sometimes they really surprise us and do the opposite."
Mr Crawford said Queensland had not been spared from wild weather in recent weeks.
"The main point is so far, we have not lost any lives to storm events in Queensland during this last couple of weeks and that's the way I want to keep it," he said.
BOM said water levels on the high tide early this morning were expected to approach or slightly exceed the highest tide of the year along the open beaches.
Low-lying inundation was also possible for areas that are prone to flooding.
Queensland Minister for Transport and Main Roads Mark Bailey warned boat owners in Noosa, Maroochydore, Caloundra and Coolangatta to think twice before going out on the open water.
"I urge boaties to postpone planned activities until the weather improves and even then, make sure you check before heading out and keep checking while on the water," he said.
The State Emergency Service was getting sandbags prepared in case they were needed, and several residents in the Redlands City Council had taken sandbags home from stations located in the community.
Mayor Karen Williams said self-service sand-bagging stations were opened on islands and the mainland for residents to prepare.
"We've been through ex-tropical cyclone Oswald, we've been through Debbie, we know what can happen," Cr Williams said.
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