Flash floods expected as Cyclone Marcia hits Capricornia
CENTRAL Queensland is bracing for flash flooding and severe weather as Cyclone Marcia slowly intensifies, with the high chance of becoming a category two system by landfall on Friday morning.
The tropical low off the coast of CQ officially developed into a category one system at about 8pm last night with weather officials warning of destructive winds of up to 150km/hr and heavy rainfall on the coast.
Late yesterday evening, the system curved onto a south-westerly track, and it is expected to maintain this general motion through to landfall on the eastern Queensland coast between St Lawrence and Hervey Bay.
A separate Severe Weather Warning is current for areas south of St Lawrence and west to the Great Dividing Range.
Bureau of Meteorology duty observer Benj Blunt said over the next few days CQ could expect between 50-200mm of rain with falls of 300mm or more confined to south of Gladstone.
Rainfall currently looks to be isolated to coastal areas, so no extra rain will be flowing from the rest of the catchment to impact on flooding. The bureau is also warning of abnormally high tides and gale-force winds.
The watch zone stretches from St Lawrence, about 184km north-east of Rockhampton, and Double Island Point, about 138km north of the Sunshine Coast.
Experienced CQ weather forecaster Mike Griffin said the tropical low system was quite unpredictable, making it hard to read.
"It's not consistent," Mr Griffin said.
"The modelling guidance is not as good as we'd like it to be.
"It's an unusual and tough situation. At 10am yesterday morning it was 1000km east of Cairns and 24 hours later it is going to be approximately 800km east of Ingham. By late today it will be east of the Percy Islands and at last update, by Friday morning it could be somewhere near Corio Bay.
"The spread is as far as 100km either way."
Mr Griffin said the Capricorn Coast hadn't seen a cyclone since Cyclone David in 1976.
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