Huge hailstones batter Queensland, causing significant damage to cars and homes, Australia


Hailstones up to 6 cm (2.4 inches) in diameter hit north of Brisbane as dangerous thunderstorms moved across southeast Queensland on November 17, 2019, causing severe damage to cars and homes. The hail came shortly after an emergency warning was issued for bushfires north of Toowomba, and prompting residents to evacuate.

Severe hailstorm caused significant damage to cars and homes, and left at least 23 000 homes across South East Queensland without power.

However, storms are unlikely to bring enough rain for bushfire-stricken areas, said Bureau of Meteorologist forecaster Rosa Hoff. 

A severe warning for massive hailstones and destructive winds was issued from Gympie to the south of Brisbane. Reports said the most dangerous storm was on the Sunshine Coast, where the cricket-sized hail was seen.

There would be no significant widespread rain in the affected areas, but up to 35 mm (1.3 inches) of rain could still fall on the Sunshine Coast, Hoff said. Most areas would register just 5 to 15 mm (0.2 to 0.6 inches).

The showers and storms were being triggered by a broad, low-pressure trough, according to Weather Zone. Some are severe, over the top end southeast Queensland and northeast New South Wales.

"Unstable winds in the wake of a trough are driving showers over Tasmania. A trough over Western Australia is directing heat to southern parts of the state," the agency reported.

Meanwhile, residents in the Darling Downs the Scenic Rim would not be expecting storms– the areas where bushfires were continuing to burn.

Strong winds had been tracked with gusts of 57 km/h (35 mph) registered at Dalby, and 50 km/h (31 mph) at Stanthorpe.

An emergency warning had been issued for a large bushfire just west of Brisbane in the Ravensbourne area, urging residents to evacuate. The blaze was part of the Pechey fire that is behind the blackening 3 400 ha (8 401 acres) in the last five days.

Mayor Paul Antonio assured that the situation had deteriorated drastically. 200 firefighters and 15 aircraft were battling the fires along a 38 km (24 miles) front.

Across the state, 85 fires were burning, but the most concerning ones were at Pechey, north of Toowoomba, and Moreton Island off Brisbane along with those in the Scenic Rim, Clumber, and Tarome.

As of Sunday afternoon, November 15, 56 fires were burning across the state, more than half of which were uncontained. Severe fire danger ratings were up in the ar north coast, New England, the northern slopes, and northwestern regions. The ratings were very high in greater Sydney, greater Hunter, central ranges, and north coast regions.

Featured image credit: Edwin Mens


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