Weather wrap-up: What Cyclone Oma has in store this weekend
UP TO 60mm of much-needed rain could fall in parts of the Northern Rivers today as effects of Tropical Cyclone Oma continue.
The system - which is approximately twice the diameter of Cyclone Debbie - is no longer expected to cross the coast but conditions could peak today and continue to thrash our shores for several days with severe weather warnings expected to remain for high tides, dangerous surf and damaging winds.
The Bureau of Meteorology said Cyclone Oma was expected to turn back into a northerly direction today, remaining off-shore.
Tropical cyclone and flood watches were cancelled yesterday, however cyclone track maps will continue to be issued every six hours until the system is no longer a threat.
Queensland State Manager Bruce Gunn said Cyclone Oma was a very large cyclone and while rated a Category 1 system, it is forecast to reintensify to Category 2 strength and maintain this strength for some time.
"We will certainly continue to keep a close eye on this cyclone, until it no longer poses a threat,” he said.
"The main impacts are damaging winds along the coastal fringe and big seas, well into next week. We're observing (coastal) waves of 3-4 metres...with offshore waves in excess of 10 metres.
"These are expected to increase during the weekend. As such a severe weather warning remains in place for dangerous surf, abnormally high tides and damaging winds. This covers the exposed coastal areas from Fraser Island to northern New South Wales.
"Surf and swell conditions will continue to be extremely hazardous for coastal activities such as rock fishing, boating, swimming and surfing. Beaches are closed and authorities are warning the public to stay out of the water,” Mr Gunn said.
Meanwhile, National Parks Wildlife Service have advised all beach vehicle access north of Coffs Harbour and a number of camping and visitor areas in the Northern Rivers area have been closed until Wednesday.
Closures commenced include all camping and visitor areas in Richmond River and Clarence areas and Clarkes, The Pass, Wategos and Tallows beaches at Byron Bay.
There is also eyes in the sky offering a bird's eye view of conditions along the North Coast as SES look to understand what impacts Tropical Cyclone Oma is having along the coast.
The Rural Fire Service's Firebird 200 has been tasked with flying from Evans Head to Tweed Heads and over low lying coastal areas, providing surveillance on tidal conditions, erosion and potential flooding.
NSW SES Operations Commander, Mark Somers said as gale force winds continue they were expecting substantial beach erosion to occur.
"This could lead to low level sea flooding in areas like Belongil, Brunswick Heads and Kingscliff,” Mr Somers said.
For travellers preparing to fly out of the chaos, Ballina Byron Gateway Airport advises travellers to contact their airline for updates.