NASA sees the remnants of Tropical Cyclone Debbie moving off Australia's east coast

March 31, 2017

The remnant clouds and showers associated with Ex-Tropical Cyclone Debbie were slowly moving off the coasts of Queensland and New South Wales as NASA's Terra satellite passed overhead on March 31.

On March 31 at 01:30 p.m. AEST/Queensland (March 30 at 11:30 p.m. / U.S.), the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer aboard NASA's Terra satellite captured a visible image of Debbie's remnants. The remnant clouds and showers were blanketing southeastern Queensland and northeastern New South Wales, Australia. The system appeared frontal in nature, stretching from north to south over the eastern Australian coast.

On March 31, Debbie's remnants were still generating rough surf along coastal areas, as the heavy rainfall the storm generated continued to trigger warnings for rivers. At 11 p.m. AEST/Queensland local time (9 a.m. EST/U.S.) the Australian Bureau of Meteorology noted that Ex-Tropical Cyclone Debbie was located 500 km to the east of the Gold Coast. Debbie's remnants are forecast to slowly move away from the east coast over the next few days.

Although dangerous surf and abnormally high tides are no longer expected over Southeast Queensland, the surf is expected to be rough for several into the next week. Several river flood warning remain in effect. There is currently a major Flood Warning for the Logan and Albert Rivers in Queensland, and for the Bremer River and Warrill Creeks River. There was also a Minor Flood Warning in effect for the Lockyer and Laidley Creeks and Lower Brisbane River.

Further south, in New South Wales, large waves are forecast for the North Coast. ABM noted "Damaging surf conditions are expected along the Northern Rivers coast tonight and early Saturday. Waves exceeding 5 meters in the surf zone may produce significant beach erosion, especially on this evening's high tide. South-facing parts of coast are more likely to be affected. High tide is expected around midnight, and may exceed the highest astronomical tide of the year in some localities."

Coastal areas north of Seal Rocks are expected to experience dangerous surf conditions Friday, March 31 and Saturday, April 1. Locations which may be affected by beach erosion include Wooli, Evans Head and Ballina.

The Australian Bureau of Meteorology noted that Tropical Cyclone Debbie established some records. According to ABM, "Severe tropical cyclone Debbie is the first tropical cyclone to reach severe status (category 3 or higher) since the Australian 2014-15 cyclone season. Debbie attained a maximum intensity of category 4 and made landfall on the central Queensland coast, near Airlie Beach, around mid-day on March 28.

An unofficial wind gust of 263 kph was recorded at Hamilton Island airport on the morning of 28 March as Debbie made a direct impact on the site; if this observation is verified it would be the highest wind gust on record for Queensland. Heavy rainfall was also a feature in the Central Coast region with daily rainfall observations at multiple locations above 200 mm and a peak recording of 470 mm at Mount William, west of Mackay."

For more warnings and watches in Queensland, visit:

NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center

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