Weather News

Ex-Tropical Cyclone Seth closes beaches across south-east Queensland

Sunday January 2, 2022 - 19:38 AEDT
ABC image
The cyclone forced the closure of Mermaid Beach on Sunday.  - ABC

In a huge blow for holiday-makers across south-east Queensland, the majority of beaches on the Gold and Sunshine coasts were closed on Sunday and many will remain closed on Monday because of hazardous conditions brought about by ex-Tropical Cyclone Seth.


The system formed on New Year's Eve and was downgraded to category one from category two on Saturday, while on Sunday afternoon began†transitioning to a tropical low and would continue to weaken.


The Bureau of Meteorology says the system†is unlikely to cross the Queensland coast as it continues to track south, however, king tides are also occurring throughout the state's south-east, and that has compounded the dangerous surf conditions.


Brenden Scoffell from Surf Lifesaving Queensland said†2.5 to 3-metre waves were expected on the Gold and Sunshine coasts, so very few beaches were open to the public on Sunday.


"On the Sunshine Coast, we've got Bulcock Beach, Mets Caloundra, Redcliffe and Noosa West that are open," he said.


"Stradbroke Island's only got Cylinder Beach open today, and Pacific and Kirra Surf Clubs on the Gold Coast are open, along with Tallebudgera Creek and Currumbin Alley."


Bureau of Meteorology forecaster†Shane Kennedy said people needed to steer clear of closed beaches because the tropical cyclone and king tides had†created a deadly combination.


"There is the potential we could see some off-shore gale-force winds, starting from today and continuing through Monday, along the Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast and Fraser Island coastal waters," he said.


"The main impacts along the coast will be that hazardous surf and we could see some easterly swells up around that two-to-three metres."


He said†the king tides were set to peak in the days ahead.


"Pretty unfortunate timing there, but we're quite likely to see some abnormally high tides starting at a few locations around the south-east on Sunday morning, but becoming a fair bit more widespread on Monday and Tuesday, where we could see those tides half a metre or more above that highest astronomical tide level," he said.


On the Gold Coast, hundreds gathered to watch the "swell of the season" in the city's south.


The Gold Coast City Council opened sandbagging stations in wake of an abnormally high tide and dangerous surf warning issued by the Bureau of Meteorology.


In Coolangatta, crowds lined the pathways and sea groyne to watch experienced board riders battle the 3-metre†swell.


The Gold Coast City Council issued 140 sandbags on Saturday afternoon.


A council spokesperson said some beaches were already experiencing scarping, with more expected in the coming days.


City repair crews will assess the damage when the council deems it safe.


People warned not to†take risks


Mr Scoffell said†it was vital people paid†attention to the beach closures and not take any unnecessary risks this long weekend.


"Lifesavers have closed the beach for a reason because it's very difficult to see the amount of water moving around, because of the amount of white water coming in with the large swells," he said.


"The rips are very strong at the moment and we're seeing a lot of surges come through with the high tides as well.


"You might think you're in knee-deep water, and the next minute the next wave comes in and you're in up over your head and you're in trouble."


Mr Scoffell said†the affected beaches were expected to remain closed on Monday's public holiday as well.


"We're going to see this large surf hang around into next week, with this tropical cyclone off the coast and the strong winds it's creating, so it's not likely to go away quickly," he said.


List of closed beaches:





Alexandra Headland


Burleigh Heads Mowbray Park


Broadbeach


Coolangatta


Coolum Beach


Currumbin


Dicky Beach


Kawana Waters


Kurrawa


Marcoola


Maroochydore


Miami Beach


Mooloolaba


Mudjimba


North Burleigh


North Kirra


Nobbys Beach


Noosa


Northcliffe


Palm Beach


Rainbow Bay


Southport


Sunshine Beach


Surfers Paradise


Tugun


Coolum North


Mooloolaba Spit


Peregian Beach


Yaroomba


Maroochydore River










- ABC

© ABC 2022

Site search


Enter a postcode or town name for local weather, or text to search the site. » advanced search

Help with Farmonline Weather