Disastrous multiple storm system batters Australia


A disastrous multiple storm system, caused by a very active low pressure system, battered Australia, from Queensland to Gippsland, an extreme weather occurrence that hasn't been recorded for many years. The severe thunderstorms accompanied with damaging winds started on the morning of October 31, 2015, (local time) and continued throughout the weekend.

According to the emergency service the areas from Queensland and New South Wales all the way to Victoria suffered extensive infrastructural damage, uprooted trees and devastated homes. Although, luckily, no victims have been reported, fallen trees have blocked roads across the affected areas and caused numerous power outages.

A tornado-like event, Victoria, Australia. Image credit: Anne Crichton (Mark Doman via Instagram)

"This was a very broad line of storms, that extended basically from Queensland down towards Gippsland," senior forecaster at the Bureau of Meteorology (BOM), Richard Carolyn explained.

"It's rare to see a storm line stretch that far. It can happen, you need a very active low pressure trough to extend right through that distance."

Numerous people reported seeing a tornado touch down, however that turned out to be a strong down burst out of the thunderstorm, according to RIchard Carolyn. Although the violent occurrence was not of tornadic nature, its strength ripped out the roof of at least 10 houses in the Strathnerton area.

Wind gusts of up to 90 km/h (56 mph) have been recorded in the Shepparton region while the southern NSW town of Hay suffered blows of 117 km/h (73 mph). The storm system produced hail balls of the size of a golf ball in Sydney.

The extreme weather conditions were expected to calm down by November 2, however, meteorologists have warned it might take a couple of days before the situation completely stabilizes across the affected areas.

Featured image: Picturesque storm cell with slight rotation over Sydney, Australia, October 31, 2015. Image credit: @DanielShawAU


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