IDQ20032
Bureau of Meteorology
Queensland Regional Office

TOP PRIORITY FOR IMMEDIATE BROADCAST

SEVERE WEATHER WARNING
for DESTRUCTIVE WINDS and HEAVY RAINFALL

For people in the Capricornia, Wide Bay and Burnett, Darling Downs and Granite Belt, Southeast Coast and parts of the Central Coast and Whitsundays, Central Highlands and Coalfields and Maranoa and Warrego Forecast Districts.

Issued at 4:45 am Thursday, 30 March 2017.

Headline:

Heavy rain and damaging wind gusts are currently affecting the Capricornia, Wide Bay and Burnett and southern parts of the Central Highlands and Coalfields districts. Heavy rainfall will move into the Darling Downs and Southeast Coast districts this morning. Destructive wind gusts may develop about the coastal fringe and elevated terrain of the Wide Bay and Burnett and Southeast Coast districts from Thursday afternoon.

Synoptic Situation:

At 4am EST Ex-Tropical Cyclone Debbie was located over inland central Queensland just south of Emerald. The system is expected to continue moving southeastwards over the Central Highlands this morning, before tracking over southeast Queensland during Thursday afternoon.

Impacts:

Ex-Tropical Cyclone Debbie will continue to generate areas of very heavy rain over the Capricornia, Southern parts of the Central Highlands and Coalfields, Wide Bay and Burnett and parts of the Darling Downs and Granite belt and Southeast Coast districts. Currently the heaviest rainfall is occurring over much of the Capricornia and Wide Bay and Burnett region, and parts of the Southeast Coast district.
Widespread daily rainfall totals of 150 to 250mm are expected, with significantly higher accumulations possible locally. This rainfall will likely be very intense at times, leading to a risk of severe localised flash flooding.
Locations that may be affected include Rockhampton, Gladstone, Kingaroy, Bundaberg, Miles and the Sunshine Coast.

The focus for heavy rain will then shift south and extend into southeastern parts of the state during Thursday afternoon. Widespread daily rainfall totals in excess of are 200mm possible, with isolated very heavy daily totals in excess of 400mm possible, mostly around the higher ground in southeast Queensland.

This rainfall is likely to lead to major river flooding over a broad area and a Flood Watch is current for coastal catchments between Gladstone and the New South Wales border, extending inland to parts of the Central Highlands and Coalfields, Central West, Maranoa and Warrego, and Darling Downs and Granite Belt forecast districts.

Damaging winds, with peak gusts of around 90km/h, are occurring in the warning area, particularly about the coast and islands, between Hamilton Island and Gladstone. The most likely area for damaging wind gusts should shift to the remaining warning area as Ex-Tropical Cyclone Debbie tracks southeastwards during today. Destructive wind gusts, in excess of 125km/h, are possible about the coastal fringe and elevated terrain of the Wide Bay and Burnett and Southeast Coast districts from late Thursday afternoon.

Severe weather is no longer occurring in the Herbert and Lower Burdekin district and the warning for this district is CANCELLED.

Queensland Fire and Emergency Services advises that people should:
* Move your car under cover or away from trees.
* Secure loose outdoor items.
* Seek shelter, preferably indoors and never under trees.
* Beware of fallen trees and powerlines.
* Never drive, walk or ride through flood waters. If it’s flooded, forget it.
* Keep clear of creeks and storm drains.
* For emergency assistance contact the SES on 132 500.

The next Severe Weather Warning will be issued by 11:00 am AEST Thursday.

Warnings are also available through TV and Radio broadcasts, the Bureau’s website at www.bom.gov.au or call 1300 659 219. The Bureau and Queensland Fire and Emergency Services would appreciate warnings being broadcast regularly.

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