| 26.12,11. 03:06 AM |
Wild weather forecast for holidaymakers
December 26, 2011
WHILE Sydney flocked to the beach for a traditional Christmas picnic, holidaymakers in Queensland were forced to find an alternative as huge seas pounded the Gold Coast yesterday.
The Queensland weather bureau issued a severe weather warning for dangerous surf conditions and abnormally high tides as the 4m swell closed many popular surfing spots on the Gold Coast.
The outlook is also grim in the Northern Territory, which is bracing for the arrival of Tropical Cyclone Grant today.
Grant is bringing winds up to 110km/h to the Cobourg Peninsula in the Northern Territory and residents have been warned of dangerous storm tides when it crosses the coast.
The weather bureau said the cyclone, which formed early on Christmas morning, was expected to move into the Van Diemen Gulf on Boxing Day.
Darwin is expected to escape its full force, but could still be hit by damaging winds.
Meanwhile in Victoria the State Emergency Services received about 350 calls for help from homes in Melbourne's west which were battered by a storm front.
SES spokesman Lachlan Quick said hailstones, some as large as lemons, ripped through skylights, windows and roof tiles in a number of Melbourne suburbs.