Freak storm dumps six months' worth of rain in one night - Brisbane, Australia

Freak storm dumps six months' worth of rain in one night - Brisbane, Australia

A major thunderstorm brought six months' worth of rain in one night in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia, on Wednesday night, December 11, 2019. The city saw 100 mm (4 inches) of rain in just over an hour, which made it one of the highest 24-hour rainfall totals in 20 years. There were around 208 000 lightning strikes from the freak storm and about 29 000 households were left without electricity.

We recorded 130.4 mm (5.13 inches) in the city last night, 112 mm (4.40 inches) in just 1 hour. That's more than December's average and more than the last 6 months combined, BOM meteorologists report.

Crews responded to more than 100 emergency calls, mostly for alarms, flooding, and electrical issues, according to Queensland Fire and Emergency Services duty manager Brett Finnis.

"It was quite the intense flurry of work, and it does signal for this season, as with the bushfires, there's something that's different this season," said Jess Gardener, forecaster for Bureau of Meteorology.

Furthermore, floodings also hit some areas of the cities that crews received nine calls for help, but no raging water rescues were needed.

"It was very rapid, the water, the volume of jobs we were being called to, it was essentially like flicking a light switch."

Meanwhile, at Brisbane Airport, wind gusts reached 80 km/h (50 mph), forcing several flights to divert.

62 mm (2.4 inches) of rain fell in Warwick, while Killarney and Flagstone Creek both registered 54 mm (2.1 inches).

Gardener forecasted more storms over the next couple of days. However, he said the wet weather will not be staying for long.

A severe storm warning has been issued for six cells, four north of Brisbane and two in the Scenic Rim.

"They are traveling in a north-east direction to impact Gympie, Somerset, Scenic Rim, South Burnett, Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast, and Moreton Bay Council Areas."

"We've got the chance of seeing severe storms again through the south-east so there is a chance through Brisbane, although a smaller chance than further west," Gardener added.

"We'd expect those storms to form further west again then move slowly eastwards, probably losing their severe "characteristics by the time they get to the coast."

Featured image credit: Kel Bogan

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