Cyclone Oma is tracking towards the Sunshine Coast.
Cyclone Oma is tracking towards the Sunshine Coast.

CYCLONE: 'It will hit hard...we just don't know where'

FORECASTERS have warned Cyclone Oma will pack a punch wherever she hits - they're just not sure where that will be.

The Category 3 system is expected to bring damaging winds gusting to 90km/h by Friday and 24-hour rainfall totals on Saturday that could exceed 300mm.

But the eye of the storm could cross anywhere between Bundaberg and Brisbane putting coastal communities on alert for several hundreds kilometres.

It's also unclear whether the extreme weather system will smash into the coast and then quickly fade - possibly a a better option than having it linger off shore for several days constantly dumping large quantities of rain as seen in Townsville recently.

Cyclone Oma was upgraded to Category 3 system on Wednesday with sustained winds near the centre of 130km/h with wind gusts to 185km/h.

The Bureau of Meteorology has warned Oma could impact communities between Gladstone to northern New South Wales.

Forecaster Adam Blazak said should the cyclone make landfall, damage would be localised.

"It won't be everywhere.

"There will be a sharp cut off from locations with high rainfall to those light to moderate," he said.

"There will one, two or three places that are hit the hardest."

Erosion will be the biggest problem with Mr Blazak expecting the storm to continue "hammering the shore line" including on Fraser Island.

"Quiet serious for some locations. 

Highest tides of the years the high swell and causing a lot of beach erosion from 1770 to the boarder set to continue more coastal inundation can be in one location and not in another.

The highest tides of the year are expected along the southern Queensland coast in the next few days.

If the system makes landfall on the Fraser Coast, heavy rain on its southern flank may lead to flash floods.

"Ideally it would be good for it to run across the coast and put an end to it," Mr Blazak said.

He said if it lingered off the coast it would hang around for several days producing rainfall totals of 300mm in a day with falls 500mm possible.

Those high totals would not be widespread.

The unlucky region where the monster storm crosses will experience a series of rain-laden storms over the one location for a number of hours.

Mr Blazak said where the system came ashore would determine the level of damage sustained.

"There are big tides and there will be big, powerful swell that causes plenty of erosion," he said.

Weather models were now aligned in agreeing the system would push towards the coast but Mr Blazak said there remained uncertainty about what would happen across the weekend.

The BOM remained on 24-hour full alert.

Mr Blazak urged residents to keep up-to-date with forecasts which could change.

He said coastal wind damage would occur as winds on Friday gusted to 90km/h.

"Beyond Friday it's wait and see," Mr Blazak said.

"It will linger off the coast or cross ashore."



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