TC Debbie aftermath to explode over Coast in 200mm deluge
WHAT WE KNOW
- TC Debbie has formed in the Coral Sea and is expected to intensify to a Category 4 by crossing
- A 'Watch Zone' has been issued for Cairns to Ayr
- A 'Warning Zone' is in place for Ayr to St Lawrence, including the Mackay and Whitsunday regions
- Mackay is expected to get the worst of the rainfall
- Thousands have been evacuated
- The Bureau has labelled Debbie the most significant cyclone to hit Queensland since Category 5 Cyclone Yasi in 2011
THE aftermath of Cyclone Debbie is expected to explode over the Sunshine Coast on Friday when it slams into a southerly change expected to move into our region at the same time.
The result will be torrential rain in the order of 200mm or more where the systems meet.
Bureau of Meteorology forecaster Adam Blazac said the past two runs of weather models have both indicated the systems would collide between Brisbane and Wide Bay putting the Sunshine Coast right in the firing line.
"There's an interesting situation developing," Mr Blasac said.
"If the models are correct (Debbie) will track towards south east Queensland where she will meet with a strong southerly change."
He said while southerly changes were hard to nail down with total accuracy, the past two runs of the model had both placed the systems meeting somewhere over the Sunshine Coast.
"There will be very heavy rain," Mr Blasac said. "We will be keeping a close eye on it."
Sunshine Coast Council Local Disaster Management Centre coordinator Andrew Ryan said there were a range of low lying vulnerable coastal areas which may be exposed to heavy falls with fast-filling hinterland streams also likely to force numerous road closures in more than 70-100mm in 24 hours.
"This is a big one," Mr Ryan said.
"If it sat on us for a while there will be widespread flooding.
"It's early days. A lot depends on how the systems behave over the next couple of days.
"For the moment our concerns are with our colleagues up north."
The Sunshine Coast can expect light rain initially increasing to heavy and continuing rainfall as the systems meet.
Cyclone Debbie is now expected to cross the Queensland coast south of in the Burdekin between Townsville and Bowen as a category 4 system with winds to 285kph at 7am Tuesday morning.
It will then track westward towards Hughenden and Charters Towers before looping back towards the south east Queensland coast.
The southerly change expected to move into the south east at the same time will also mean cooler maximum temperatures for the Sunshine Coast with Saturday not expected to climb above 26 degrees.
Mr Ryan said Sunshine Coast Council hydrologists had already been speaking with the BOM with numerous conversations conducted over the weekend.
The council's first response field coordination centre had already been set up and there would be a focus on ensuring drains were cleared and rosters set up to deal with the aftermath.
Mr Ryan said it had been a consistent pattern of the past few cyclonic systems to cross the Queensland coast that they would track south and dump large volumes of water in our catchments.
A range of hinterland streams across the Sunshine Coast can flood very quickly with no more than 70-100mm of rain needed before hinterland roads are closed.
Mr Ryan said towards the coast low lying area inundation particularly around Bradman Avenue, Pacific Paradise, Twin Waters and Mudjimba was likely.
But he said there was a range of vulnerable areas that could be exposed.
Noosa Disaster Coordinating Centre director Alan Rogers said the potential for heavy falls meant his team would be watching the systems very closely over the coming days.