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Fierce storms lash southern Queensland

Sunday November 18, 2012 - 01:51 EDT

A massive storm system has hammered southern Queensland with destructive winds, large hail, and heavy rainfall.

The worst of the weather has passed but the Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) says the weather system could cause storms through Queensland's south-east well into Sunday morning.

Hail sized between 8-10 centimetres was recorded north of Pittsworth, while 53mm of rain fell at Helidon in just 30 minutes earlier on Saturday evening.

Take a look back at events as they unfolded. All times in AEST.





11:26pm: Senior forecaster at the Bureau of Meteorology Peter Otto says the weather activity will generate heavy rain falls over Brisbane into the early hours of Sunday morning.

"A lot of the storms have smeared out to a big, broad area, moving toward the coast right now," he said.

"[There have been] some very heavy falls over the last half hour around the city area, falls of the order of 30 to 40 millimetres in about a half an hour which is fairly intense in the eastern suburbs and CBD.

"A lot of that is now contracting out to sea - it's going to take its time to do - probably over the next hour or two."



10:50pm: Good news from the Bureau of Meteorology, who has cancelled the severe thunderstorm warnings for south-east Queensland.

"Severe thunderstorms are no longer affecting the south-east Queensland area (east of Dalby from Rainbow Beach to Stanthorpe).

"The immediate threat of severe thunderstorms has passed, but the situation will continue to be monitored and further warnings will be issued if necessary. Moderate rainfall is still expected over the Brisbane area for the next few hours."


"Forty-four millimetres of rainfall was observed at Toombul in the hour to 10:30pm."




10:42pm: Hans Siebert sent us this excellent photo of lightning breaking near Dalby earlier on Saturday evening. Thanks, Hans.

"I took this photo just outside Dalby as two storm fronts collided, one coming from the west and the other from the east. It all let loose around Dalby at 6-8pm," he said.



10:25pm: Energex spokeswoman Kath Ryan told ABC 612 a short time ago that 26,000 people are currently without power in south-east Queensland.

10:00pm: The latest advice from the Bureau of Meteorology indicates that the storm is getting closer to Brisbane:

"The Bureau of Meteorology warns that, at 9:55 pm, severe thunderstorms were detected on weather radar near Brisbane CBD, Strathpine and Caboolture," a statement said.

"These thunderstorms are moving towards the south-east. They are forecast to affect Beenleigh, Logan City, Cleveland and Redcliffe by 10:25pm and southern Moreton Island, Tangalooma and northern Moreton Bay by 10:55pm.

"Damaging winds and heavy rainfall that may lead to flash flooding are likely."






9:52pm: Lightning strikes have delayed flights at Brisbane's domestic and international airports.

Brisbane Airport Corporation spokeswoman Leonie Vandeven says conditions are too dangerous to fly in.

"It's an extremely exposed area out on the airfield and when we have lightening like this and storm cells over the airport, they simply can't go out - it's just far too dangerous," she said.

"If we can't unload or pack aircraft then they don't go anywhere."

This picture was taken during the storms earlier on Saturday at Brisbane International Airport:





9:50pm: Severe thunderstorms and light hail have hit the New South Wales north coast.

The NSW State Emergency Service says it is responding to about 50 calls from residents on the north coast.

SES spokeswoman Becky Gollings says residents should not be too concerned.

"Some severe thunderstorms have come through areas like Woodburn, up near Ballina, [but] thankfully there hasn't been any serious damage," she said.

"We've had about 50 jobs in the area, mostly for roof damage, so we're just asking people if they do need emergency help at this time to give the SES a call."



9:32pm: Ergon Energy spokesman Rod Raybine says crews will have to wait until the storms have passed before they can attempt to restore power to those in the South Burnett and Darling Downs.

"We've had more customers go out on the South Burnett now than there were in the Darling Downs," he said.

"Looks like about 5,000 customers at this stage around Kingaroy, Nenango and Murgen, so the storm cells around Kingaroy are doing some damage."



9:24pm: It's déjà vu for Brisbane residents. Lighting and thunder is cracking over the city about 12 hours after this morning's storm.

The BoM's David Grant told ABC 612 just a short time ago that a severe storm warning is in place for Brisbane, with the chance of flash flooding.

He says there are a number of cells that they are keeping an eye one.

"One that is up situated near Kingaroy and another one down towards Blackbutt and another down around Wivenhoe Dam," he said.

"We have had some recent reports of some rainfall gauges of 60 millimetres falling in about [30 minutes] near Wivenhoe Dam and there is also some wind gusts of up to 70 or 80 kilometres around Kingaroy as well."



9:11pm: ABC reporter Josh Bavas reports from Brisbane that the largest storm to hit Queensland in three years is also affecting people in New South Wales.

"The storms may bring destructive winds, large hail stones and heavy rain and there's a risk of flash flooding. Similar warnings are in place for northern New South Wales," he told ABC News 24.

"The 500-kilometre-long storm system has been bringing winds of up to 90km/h to some communities around Lismore, Tenterfield, Ballina, Casino and Kyogle.

"The Bureau of Meteorology has confirmed that hail stones the size of soft balls have been impacting the region of Oakey. They've warned people in the Kilcoy and Somerset area to get to the ground floor of their homes and put as many walls as they can between themselves and the outside."



8:38pm: Ergon Energy has told ABC 612 that about 5,000 customers in the Darling Downs and South Burnett have lost power.

8:18pm: Read the latest severe thunderstorm warning for Queensland .

8:14pm: ABC reporter Josh Bavas of the radar loop, showing Brisbane is in for a battering again.

7:56pm: Energex says there are still 300 homes and businesses without power in Brisbane.

An Energex spokeswoman says that crews are ready to respond in the Darling Downs if they are needed.

The number to call for downed powerlines is 131 962. Residents reporting power outages are asked to call 136 262.

Earlier today, more than 100 powerlines were brought down by wild weather in Brisbane.

7:40pm: A Bureau of Meteorology map shows the projected path of the storm over the hour from 7:15pm:





7:34pm: The weather bureau says that 53mm of rain was recorded at Helidon in the half an hour leading up to 7:10pm.

7:27pm: The latest advice from the Bureau of Meteorology. :

The Bureau of Meteorology warns that, at 7:15 pm, very dangerous thunderstorms were detected on weather radar near the area between Crows Nest and Cooyar.

These thunderstorms are moving towards the north-east. Very dangerous thunderstorms are forecast to affect Blackbutt, Yarraman and the area north of Cooyar by 7:45pm and the area west of Kilcoy, Moore, Linville, Nanango and the area east of Nanango by 8:15pm.


Other severe thunderstorms were located near Gatton, Grantham, Hampton and the area north of Gatton. They are forecast to affect the area south of Esk, the area south-west of Esk, the area west of Esk and Hatton Vale by 7:45pm and Esk, the area north-west of Esk, Fernvale, southern Lake Wivenhoe, northern Lake Wivenhoe and Toogoolawah by 8:15pm.




7:10pm: Forecaster David Grant from the Bureau of Meteorology told ABC 612 that there have been reports of hail up to 8-10 centimetres in diameter was reported north of Pittsworth.

He says the cell has passed through the Toowoomba region, but rains will continue throughout the night.

"The winds that people might experience ... are winds getting up to 125 kilometres an hour," he said.

"Apart from that the most pertinent things that we have had reports of are that hail has got up to 8-10 centimetres in size. So very large hail."

6:54pm: The Bureau of Meteorology has released a severe thunderstorm warning for south-east Queensland. .

6:52pm: The Bureau is warning that the storms are moving in a north-easterly direction and are likely to affect Oakey, Jondaryan and areas west of Oakey.

6:45pm: Kelly Pymont, who lives at Millmerran, south-west of Toowoomba, says they have already been hit by a large hail storm.

"It was about the size of golf balls and it lasted for about five minutes," she said.

"There was a lot people running into the pubs to try and get away from it, parking their cars in our drive-through [and] trying to save their cars.

"It's still raining and it's quite windy - pretty dark clouds in the sky."

6:38pm: Brisbane was lashed by a storm cell earlier today. More than 12,000 homes were without power at the height of the storm and the Bureau of Meteorology says there were over 11,000 lightning strikes across the region.

.


- ABC

© ABC 2012

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