Parts of southeast Queensland and northeast New South Wales are cleaning up after severe thunderstorms pelted the region yesterday and further intense storms are expected today.
There were multiple bands of thunderstorms that rolled across southeast Queensland and northeast NSW on Saturday, producing dangerous conditions with more than 50,000 lightning strikes. The storms also brought very heavy rainfall, large hailstones and strong wind gusts.
Brisbane was struck by a thunderstorm late on Saturday morning that brought as much as 10mm of rain in 10 minutes, which led to flash flooding around the city. Winds were gusting to 70km/h at the same time in the city and up to 85km/h at the Airport, bringing down trees and power lines.
A second band of thunderstorms developed during the afternoon with multiple severe cells passing over southeast QLD and northeast NSW. An intense cell that passed near Toowoomba produced hail as large as 8 to 10cm in diametre with wind gusts up to 87km/h. As this storm pushed east through the evening it brought heavy rain to Kingaroy with as much as 17mm in 10 minutes, leading to flash flooding.
Brisbane received its second round of thunderstorms late last night, which brought very heavy rainfall and frequent lightning. The city gained 63mm of rain in total from the day's storms, its heaviest total in seven months.
In northeast NSW frequent thunderstorms produced heavy falls across the Mid North Coast, Northern Rivers and Northern Tablelands. Coffs Harbour received 160mm in the 24 hours to 9am this morning, its largest 24-hour total in three years.
The low pressure trough responsible for these unstable conditions is lingering over eastern Queensland and New South Wales today. This maintains the risk of severe thunderstorms through today, with potential that these could produce more flash flooding, large hail and strong wind gusts.
The storms today will be most widespread and have the greatest potential to become severe over southeast QLD and northeast NSW. However, there is even the risk of isolated thunderstorms as far south as Sydney.
© Weatherzone 2012
00:30 EDT Locals on the Cocos Islands have spent Christmas Day hunkered down in their homes, as Tropical Cyclone Kate passed just north of the tiny community more than 2,000 kilometres off the West Australian coast.