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SEVERE WEATHER WARNING

DAMAGING WINDS and HEAVY RAINFALL

SEVERE WEATHER WARNING

 Heavy rain and damaging wind gusts are currently affecting the Central Coast and Whitsundays and Central Highlands and Coalfields districts, slowly extending southwards.

Synoptic Situation:

 At 11am EST Ex-Tropical Cyclone Debbie was located over inland central Queensland about 130 kilometres west-northwest of Moranbah. The system is expected to continue moving southwards over the central interior of the state today before tracking southeastwards during Thursday.

 Impacts:

 Ex-Tropical Cyclone Debbie will continue to generate areas of very heavy rain over the Central Coast and Whitsundays and Central Highlands and Coalfields districts today. Currently the heaviest rainfall is occurring over the areas between inland from Mackay. A seperate Severe Thunderstorm Warning is current for heavy rainfall for areas over the Central Coast district. Widespread daily rainfall totals of 150 to 250 mm are expected, with significantly higher totals possible locally. This rainfall will likely be very intense at times, leading to a risk of localised flash flooding. Locations that may be affected include Mackay, Sarina, Carmila, Yeppoon, Moranbah, Clermont, Emerald, Springsure and Rolleston.

 The focus for heavy rain will then shift south and extend into the southeastern quarter of the state during Thursday, with further daily rainfall totals in excess of 200mm possible.

 This rainfall is likely to lead to major river flooding over a broad area this week, and a Flood Watch is current for coastal catchments between Ayr 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 100km/h, are occurring in the warning area, particularly about the coast and islands and also over higher ground inland. Currently the strongest wind gusts are affecting areas north of about Emerald to St Lawrence though the possibility of damaging wind gusts should shift to the remaining warning area as Ex-Tropical Cyclone Debbie tracks south southeastwards tonight. Into Thursday the focus for damaging wind gusts will likely shift to the Capricornia coast and then possibly to the remaining coast near and south of Fraser Island during Thursday afternoon and evening.

 Water levels on the high tide could exceed the highest tide of the year, but not exceed warning criteria. Therefore the warning for abnormally high tide 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 5:00 pm AEST Wednesday.

 

 

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