SCIENTISTS at the University of the Sunshine Coast say we have much to learn from the extreme weather event that has smashed heavily populated areas of the United States' east coast.
Former naval meteorologist and civil engineer Adrian McCallum said the weather system and its impact on infrastructure would be amazing to analyse and something we could learn from.
He is using the combined benefits of his professional disciplines to study the future implications of climate change on infrastructure and the way we plan.
"It's fortunate we haven't had a storm of this severity in heavily populated areas," Mr McCallum said.
"It would be interesting to do some scenario planning and sit politicians and bureaucrats down and consider responses."
Mr McCallum said the potential for similar storms in South-East Queensland and even further south could not be discounted.
He pointed out that the system which reached latitude 40 degrees north in the United States was at similar reversed latitude to Bass Strait.
"When you envisage that scenario here, it's clear that not just Brisbane should be concerned," he said.
University of the Sunshine Coast climate scientist Neil Tindale, who has worked as a researcher in the United States at several universities, NASA and for the US Navy, said Hurricane Sandy had morphed into the equivalent of the east coast lows that had hit the Sunshine Coast, but had combined with two other systems, including a major cold front.
He said the US east coast topography was not much different than here with the barrier islands that bore the brunt of the storm the equivalent of Stradbroke and Moreton islands.
Mr Tindale predicted the storm-surge impacts in New York would affect Brisbane in a very similar way.
"We've been very lucky that Cyclone Yasi followed Larry's track and thread the needle between Townsville and Cairns," he said.