Tropical Cyclone Marcia developed over the Coral Sea earlier this week and while initially it was hampered by strong wind shear, the cyclone rapidly intensified prior to making landfall in eastern Queensland on Friday, local time.
The storm reached peak intensity just prior to landfall near Shoalwater Bay, to the north of Rockhampton.
The storm reached Category 5 status in Australia, which was the equivalent of a Category 4 hurricane in the Atlantic Ocean. Marcia is only the sixth cyclone to make landfall in Australia at Category 5 strength according to ABC News in Australia.
Peak wind gusts up to 295 kph (183 mph) were experienced as the cyclone came onshore, with damaging wind gusts expanding well inland as the storm moved inland across eastern Queensland.
These powerful winds knocked down trees and power lines leaving more than 50,000 people without power according to ABC News.
Heavy rains also left widespread flooding from north of Rockhampton southward through Brisbane. These areas have received widespread rainfall amounts in excess of 100 mm (4 inches) with more than 250 mm (10 inches) of rain falling in many areas.
While Marcia continues to weaken rapidly over eastern Australia, flooding will remain a serious threat through Saturday as the storm turns more to toward the southeast and passes within 50 km (30 miles) of Brisbane.
Locally heavy rain will continue to fall through Saturday evening, producing an additional 50-100 mm (2-4 inches) with localized amounts up to 200 mm (8 inches). Flash flooding along with river flooding are both major concerns. River levels will remain high through Sunday, leading to dangerous conditions across the region.
While Tropical Cyclone Marcia hammered eastern Queensland, Tropical Cyclone Lam was bringing similar conditions to the northern coast of Northern Territory.
Lam made landfall early Friday morning, local time, between Elcho Island and Milingimbi. The storm was Category 4 strength on the Australian cyclone scale with wind gusts over 225 kph (140 mph).
Heavy rainfall averaged 75-150 mm (3-6 inches along and near the track of the cyclone as it moved southwest into the interior of Northern Territory. Some of the heaviest rain was reported around Bulman, where rainfall totaled nearly 200 mm (8 inches) through Friday evening, local time.
The ABC in Australia reported that many homes were damaged. A bigger problem is that power remains out in the region and water supplies are very limited following the storm.
Some of these more remote areas will have to deal with no power and limited drinking water for days or even weeks until supplies are restored.