UNPREDICTABLE: Tropical Cyclone Owen is located northwest of Mornington Island. It is expected to be slow moving during Wednesday and then change course to move eastwards and back towards the Queensland coast on Thursday.
UNPREDICTABLE: Tropical Cyclone Owen is located northwest of Mornington Island. It is expected to be slow moving during Wednesday and then change course to move eastwards and back towards the Queensland coast on Thursday. Bureau of Metereology

Zombie cyclone's 100mm to rain havoc on Gympie events, coast

A 'ZOMBIE' cyclone in the far north and a strong low in the south are expected to combine to unleash the most significant weather event since March, producing strong winds and rain across the Queensland Coast.

Tropical Cyclone Owen reformed as a Category 1 system over the Gulf of Carpentaria last night, before it's expected to intensify into a Category 3 later today, bringing up to 224km/h wind gusts.

Gympie's Christmas in the Park this Saturday has already been relocated to the Civic Centre in light of the weather prediction.

Shark control protection equipment is being removed from Rainbow beach as well as Sunshine Coast and Gold Coast beaches on Thursday and Friday.

 

BUILDING STRENGTH: Tropical Cyclone Owen is back and threatening to hit Queensland with strong wind and rain this weekend.
BUILDING STRENGTH: Tropical Cyclone Owen is back and threatening to hit Queensland with strong wind and rain this weekend. Windy.com

Fisheries Queensland Acting Manager of the Shark Control Program Sam Fary said the nets and drumlines were being removed in preparation for the predicted path of Tropical Cyclone Owen as was normal practice when rough weather is forecast.

"There is a small window to safely remove the equipment before the predicted severe weather impacts," Mr Fary said.

"The situation will be monitored closely over the next 24-48 hours and teams are prepared to re-install the gear if the weather conditions allow.

"Given school holidays are about to start, swimmers are advised to follow safe swimming practices, including swimming between the flags and not swimming at dusk or dawn, particularly with the shark control equipment out of action temporarily.

The expected direction mirrors that of Cyclone Oswald in late January/early February 2013, which devastated Bundaberg and caused widespread flooding across the state.

 

OFF LINE: The 2013 floods have caused significant damage to the railway infrastructure in North Bundaberg.  Photo: Barry Linwood
FIVE YEARS ON: The 2013 floods have caused significant damage to the railway infrastructure in North Bundaberg. Barry Linwood

The Bureau of Meteorology said Tropical Cyclone Owen was moving slowly west over the southern Gulf of Carpentaria overnight. At about 3.30am it was 250km north northwest of Mornington Island and had winds of about 75kmh at the centre, with wind gusts to 100kmh.

A coastal crossing along the southeast Gulf of Carpentaria coast during Friday is most likely.

 

DEVELOPING: Tropical Cyclone Owen is now a Category 1.
DEVELOPING: Tropical Cyclone Owen is now a Category 1. Bureau of Metereology

The heaviest rainfall will occur on Saturday and Sunday for the Gympie region, Bureau of Metereology forecaster Aditi Sharan said.

"Over the coming days Gympie could receive anything from 25-100mm, it all depends on the movements of the cyclone," she said.

After crossing the Queensland coast the cyclone is then predicted to track down the east coast this weekend and combine with a low pressure system around southeast Queensland, causing widespread heavy rainfall.