Queensland

'Deceptively powerful' surf and possible thunderstorms for Australia Day

Authorities are bracing for an influx of injuries on Australia Day, with heavy surf predicted for south-east Queensland's beaches.

And the public holiday is likely to end with lightning, hail and strong winds with severe thunderstorms considered likely late in the day.

Sunshine Coast surf.
Sunshine Coast surf. Photo: Surf Life Saving Queensland

Surf Lifesavers will be out in force as conditions are set to be unstable, with a strong groundswell continuing from the weekend.

Surf Life Saving Queensland state operations support officer Jason Argent said conditions were going to be unpredictable.

"This is traditionally one of the busiest days for lifesavers and lifeguards so there will be plenty of people looking to get into the water for a swim," Mr Argent said.

"There will be additional services on the Sunshine Coast and the lifesavers on the Gold Coast will continue their patrols."

Mr Argent said people with no local knowledge going in for a swim and members of the public drinking alcohol and then going for a swim were significant risk factors for injuries.

A Queensland Ambulance Service spokesman said extra ambulance officers would be deployed to deal with Australia Day mishaps.

"We are well-resourced for an influx of people at the beach, we have a contingency plan in place," he said.

Michael Knepp from the Bureau of Meteorology said the poor surf conditions were expected to last through to Australia Day.

Mr Knepp also said there was a high chance of rain in Brisbane and on the coast, with a possibility of thunderstorms developing in the afternoon.

"It is still going to be unsettled, with a chance of showers and slight chance of thunderstorms, but that's more likely for the western areas," Mr Knepp said.

"For the next day and a bit we will still have deceptively powerful surf along the coast, but those conditions should be easing over the next 24 to 26 hours."

SLSQ saved 100 beach goers over the weekend and were urging people to play it safe for Australia Day.

Surfers Paradise on the Gold Coast was going to be the most popular destination in the country on Australia Day, meaning a lot of revellers may have to make alternate plans for the holiday.

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