30mm an hour for six hours: Severe weather warning active

TORRENTIAL rain is set to break the Sunshine Coast's four-month run of drought-like conditions in the 'worst possible way' with falls of up to 30mm an hour for six hours possible from mid afternoon Monday.

A severe weather warning has been issued for the Hervey Bay-Fraser Coast region extending to Gympie to our north which was expected to begin seeing from early tomorrow morning the effects of a deepening coastal trough.

The Bureau of Meteorology warns the trough may form a low pressure system as it drifts south.

It says heavy rainfall, which may lead to flash flooding, was also forecast to develop over areas between Bundaberg and Double Island Point during early Monday morning.

RELATED: Floods, highway chaos: 120mm downpour threatens for Coast

BOM extreme weather desk forecaster Scott Williams said the Sunshine Coast could begin to see falls of similar intensity delivering up to 180mm from around 2-3pm. However we should expect to see some rain falling before then.

Mr Williams said holiday makers heading to the Bruce Highway and home should consider leaving as early as possible.

He said falls of 70-120mm had already been forecast for the Sunshine Coast for Monday before the severe weather warning was issued.

The peak of the weather event to the north of us could be expected pre-dawn and after passing through the Sunshine Coast may reach Brisbane and the Gold Coast by Tuesday morning.

Sunshine Coast Police Superintendent Darryl Johnson described the combination of end of school holiday traffic flooding onto the Bruce Highway tomorrow and the anticipated extreme weather event as a perfect storm.

The RACQ has warned motorists to plan for a long, slow journey south and to allow sufficient braking space in case they are required to stop quickly.

Sunshine Coast Council Local Disaster Manager Centre co-ordinator Andrew Ryan said that level of rainfall in that period of time would be 'the worst possible way to break a drought'.

Mr Ryan, who steps down Friday as the council's Director of Infrastructure Services, said bone-dry ground would see sheet flow run off with debris potentially blocking drains and causing minor flash flooding.

He said the rain would be well received by hinterland residents whose water tanks have run dry with some people saying that had not seen conditions like the past four months for more than 47 years.

A decision to open the Sunshine Coast Local Disaster Management Centre would be made as required after it was stood down this morning as the fire threat eased with cooler temperatures.


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