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Central QLD lights up with thunderstorms

Mellissa Mackellar, Wednesday April 24, 2013 - 14:37 EST

Thunderstorms fired up in central QLD on Tuesday, bringing gusty winds and the heaviest rain in months to some towns.

During Tuesday afternoon, storms sparked up along a low pressure trough, with lightning as far north as Hughenden and south to about Maryborough. Between the hours of 4pm and 10pm, more than 20,000 cloud-to-ground lightning strikes were recorded within 400km of Gladstone.

The storms flared up in the Rolleston and Taroom areas around 2pm, reaching Emerald by about 4pm where they dumped 15mm, with nearly 10mm falling in just ten minutes. Lochington also had 10mm in ten minutes, with a total of 14mm, while winds gusted to 83km/h.

The storms intensified as they moved east, with some of the heaviest rain falling just south of Gladstone, with 54mm at Builyan and 48mm at Cania Dam.

The Town of 1770 had their heaviest falls so far this month, with 19mm.

Heavy falls were also recorded in the Wide Bay and Burnett District, with 47mm at Maryborough, the most rain they’ve seen since February and their highest April total in four years. A wind gust of 74km/h was also recorded.

As the storms moved offshore they brought wind gusts of 74km/h and 76km/h to Heron and Rundle Islands, respectively.

Thunderstorms are likely again today as the low pressure trough lingers over the state. Thundery action is most likely between about Hervey Bay and Mackay and inland to about Emerald and Hughenden. These storms may again become severe due to damaging winds, large hail and flash flooding.

Thunderstorms remain a risk into Thursday as the weakening trough lingers, before a building high pressure ridge makes storms less likely on Friday.

- Weatherzone

© Weatherzone 2013

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