Watch out ... Freda could cross the coast near Fraser Island

CYCLONE Freda could cross the Queensland coast over or just above Fraser Island on Monday bringing with it stormy weather and big seas.

That's the prediction of Sunshine Coast Daily Coastlife forecaster Mike Perry, who warns against prematurely wiping off the low pressure system as a threat to our coast.

In fact Perry predicts we could still see surf in the 1.8-2.4m range to welcome in the new week.

And while Bureau of Meteorology modelling predicts Freda will deteriorate into only a weak low pressure system that will cross north of Fraser Island, weather models from the US show the system taking a big turn on Sunday and heading straight towards Fraser.

If that happens we should expect it to be at least a category one system that will push strong swell ahead of it, which would quickly reach the Queensland coast.

The weather system is centred close to the top of Noumea moving about four knots in a south, south-westerly direction.

Perry said the mixed messages of increasing and decreasing swell as a consequence of the different modelling would be quickly resolved once the slow-moving weather system cleared Noumea and returned to open waters.

"The real change will come in two to three days as it reefs off towards us,'' Perry said.

The surf forecaster said that being only 1296km (700 nautical miles) from the Australian coast meant that the minute the system t

urned towards us would be the start of an eight-hour countdown before the swell hit the Australian coast.


Freda reached category four intensity on December 31 before weakening to category two as it pummelled Noumea.

With waves along all Sunshine Coast open beaches yesterday and Freda's influence likely to strengthen through the weekend, surfers could not have asked for a better start to 2013.

Central Queensland surfers are also expected to benefit with places such as  Agnes Water in line for offshore conditions and swell if Freda's track brings it ashore near Fraser Island.


Topics:  cyclone freda editors picks surf weather

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