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).
At least 23,000 homes across South East Queensland are without power after severe storm cells brought large hailstones and strong winds. Our chopper is checking out the damage in Caloundra on the Sunshine Coast. #qldweather #7NEWS https://t.co/pD8pKfAPnA— 7NEWS Brisbane (@7NewsBrisbane) November 17, 2019
Some of the hail that fell in the Glasshouse Mountains this afternoon.— ABC Brisbane (@abcbrisbane) November 17, 2019
: Edwin Mens pic.twitter.com/5dhdZajjJt
From fire to this! Southeast Queensland. This was the storm we endured this afternoon. pic.twitter.com/QkaxEuZlZQ— Laureen Maschek (@LaureenMaschek) November 17, 2019
Severe #QldStorm warnings have now been cancelled, with some wild conditions reported at #SunshineCoast #GoldCoast and #WideBay. Hail up to 6cm and multiple reports of damage. Scattered falls of 10-20mm and isolated falls up to 39mm. Check obs near you: https://t.co/Zinzl8KS8z pic.twitter.com/YGi2dgq0SB— Bureau of Meteorology, Queensland (@BOM_Qld) November 17, 2019
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.
This is the monster storm that just dumped all that hail on the Sunshine Coast— ABC Brisbane (@abcbrisbane) November 17, 2019
: Josh Whiting Photos pic.twitter.com/IVcVnuJyzN
Just landed in Brisbane for the first time in years...and it is hailing. What happened to Queensland as the sunshine state? Can’t deplane until the thunderstorm passes through Brisbane Airport pic.twitter.com/IXKH2ZWl23— Andrew Hawkins (@AndrewNJHawkins) November 17, 2019
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