South-east Queensland residents are bracing for gale-force winds, abnormally high tides and dangerous surf conditions as a category one cyclone moves closer to the coast today.
Tropical Cyclone Linda developed from a tropical low in the Coral Sea about 3:00pm AEST on Tuesday, despite the Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) earlier saying a cyclone system was unlikely.
Senior Forecaster Rick Threlfall says Cyclone Linda has been weakening overnight and is expected to be downgraded later this morning — but it'll still pack a punch.
'So I don't think it's going to stay as a cyclone for too much longer, probably only a few more hours, before it transitions into what we call a subtropical low,' he said.
'So it's still a low pressure system later on today and it's certainly still going to have quite significant impacts so we still have the severe weather warnings out.
'We're looking at dangerous surf, quite a big east to south-easterly swell building up through today with a lot of wave action on top of that so we could see wave heights getting up to 3 or 4 metres.'
A dangerous surf warning has been issued, with 3 to 4 metre waves expected on the Sunshine Coast.
Surf Live Saving Queensland advised they would be assessing both the Sunshine Coast and Gold Coast, and would make decisions on whether to close certain beaches, based on the intensity of the conditions.
Queensland's Emergency Services Minister Craig Crawford said while the cyclone was not forecast to cross the coast, people needed to take notice of the severe weather warning.
'We're expecting it to decrease and not to come ashore,' he said.
'However, as we know from cyclones across all Queensland and we've done this hundreds of times, we have to keep looking at these every hour, on the hour, and sometimes they really surprise us and do the opposite.'
Mr Crawford said Queensland had not been spared from wild weather in recent weeks.
'The main point is so far, we have not lost any lives to storm events in Queensland during this last couple of weeks and that's the way I want to keep it,' he said.
The Bureau of Meteorology said water levels on the high tide early this morning were expected to approach or slightly exceed the highest tide of the year along the open beaches.
Low-lying inundation was also possible for areas that are prone to flooding.
Queensland's Minister for Transport and Main Roads Mark Bailey warned boat-owners in Noosa, Maroochydore, Caloundra and Coolangatta to think twice before going out on the open water.
'I urge boaties to postpone planned activities until the weather improves and even then, make sure you check before heading out and keep checking while on the water,' he said.
The State Emergency Service was getting sandbags prepared in case they were needed, and several residents in the Redlands City Council had taken sandbags home from stations located in the community.
Mayor Karen Williams said self-service sand bagging stations were opened on islands and the mainland for residents to prepare.
'We've been through ex-tropical cyclone Oswald, we've been through Debbie, we know what can happen,' Cr Williams said.