QUEENSLAND — While it is still far too early to become complacent, Queenslanders are breathing a sigh of relief this morning as Severe Tropical Cyclone Hamish now looks like remaining offshore for now, according to weatherzone.com.au.
At 7am EST, Hamish was situated approximately 215 kilometres northeast of Yeppoon and was moving southeast at 12 kilometres per hour. It is now expected to maintain this southeast track over the next couple of days.
The storm is still a very dangerous Category 4 cyclone, meaning that wind gusts near its centre are as high as 250 kilometres per hour. However, it is likely to gradually weaken over the next couple of days as it tracks parallel to the coast.
“Tropical cyclones need fairly light winds right the way up through the atmosphere to survive, or else they tend to get blown apart. As Hamish heads further south, it is running into much stronger upper level winds. This is acting to weaken the storm,” weatherzone.com.au meteorologist Matt Pearce said.
“While it now looks unlikely that the centre of the cyclone will make landfall along the mainland coast, there will still be significant impacts across southeast and central Queensland – strong winds and large seas in particular.”
A Cyclone Warning remains in force between Yeppoon and Hervey Bay, with a watch extending south to Tewantin. A Severe Weather Warning is also current for the Central Coast and Whitsundays and northern Capricornia districts due to dangerous surf and abnormally high tides.
“In the longer term, there is considerable uncertainty about what Hamish will do during the second half of the week. There is a possibility that it will move back towards the Queensland coast again, albeit in a much weaker capacity,” Pearce said.
“Other computer models take it off to the southeast towards New Zealand. For this reason, people in the watch and warning areas should continue to take notice of the latest official warnings and prepare as necessary.”