Supercell thunderstorms hit Queensland, 37 000 without power


Another severe storm pounded Queensland on December 3, 2016, producing large hail and major damage. Tens of thousands of homes reported power loss while numerous flights have been delayed.

A system of supercells hit Brisbane on the afternoon of December 3 (local time). The first system started spreading over the New South Wales and lasted for about two hours. The Gold Coast beaches were closed due to severe weather conditions.

"We have some top end supercell thunderstorms and we have reports of roofs removed at Gatton, swift water rescues at Salisbury in Brisbane," Sam Campbell, Senior Bureau of Meteorology forecaster said.

Storm system in Brisbane, December 4, 2016

Storm system in Brisbane, December 4, 2016. Image credit: SBJ Photography

Storm approaching Brisbane, December 4, 2016

Storm approaching Brisbane, December 4, 2016. Image credit: @JoshBavas

Large hail was reported at Boonah and other areas in the southern Brisbane.

According to the eyewitnesses, the weather system was accompanied by intense lightning strikes which also caused flight delays at Brisbane airport. 

Queensland Ambulance reported that one teenager was struck by lightning at Allora on the Darling Downs while he was holding a metal door in the front section of the house. It is unknown how serious his injuries are, ABC reports.

Firefighters said one home had been struck by lightning causing a house fire at Russell Island off Brisbane.

More than 37 000 homes lost power.

In the evening hours, another system of severe storms coming from the east spread over Brisbane.

The storms arrived after an intense heat wave engulfed parts of Queensland over the last couple of days, bringing temperatures of 45 °C (113 °F). 46 °C (114.8 °F) was recorded in Birdsville on December 4, and up to 42 °C (107.6 °F) has been forecast for December 5.

According to BOM meteorologists, temperatures up to 40°C (104°F) will affect the region tomorrow, followed by another series of stormy weather in the southeastern part of the state. However, the storms will probably not be as severe, and temperatures will likely not exceed 31 °C (87.8 °F) in Brisbane and the Sunshine Coast.

By the end of the last week, an intense heat wave has caused five people to be hospitalized. Two injuries were also reported due to severe weather, as one person was hit by a falling tree, and another got struck by the lightning.

Featured image: Storm over Brisbane, Queensland, December 4, 2016 (local time). Image credit: SBJ Photography

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