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Queensland weather: Severe storms, showers for Boxing Day

Wednesday December 27, 2017 - 00:21 EDT
ABC licensed image
Lightning hits a tree at West Prairie on the Darling Downs on Christmas Day. - ABC licensed

Queenslanders in parts of the state's east and south-east dealt with another day of rough weather on Boxing Day, with thunderstorms hitting areas from Darling Downs to the Capricornia Coast.

All severe thunderstorms throughout the state died down before midnight, but strong winds and large hailstones were recorded in affected areas earlier in the day.

"The immediate threat of severe thunderstorms has passed, but the situation will continue to be monitored and further warnings will be issued if necessary," the Bureau of Meteorology said.

Storms in the south-east weakened before 8:00pm, but the bureau warned that severe thunderstorms could lead to flash flooding in some areas south of Rockhampton.

Earlier in the day the Bureau issued severe thunderstorm warnings for damaging winds and large hailstones.

The warnings were for the Darling Downs and Granite Belt as well as parts of Central Highlands and Coalfields, Central West, Capricornia, Wide Bay and Burnett, Maranoa and Warrego and Southeast Coast districts.

Golf-to-cricket-ball-sized hail was reported south-west of Toowoomba and Oakey, and one "very dangerous thunderstorm" was detected on the radar north-west of the area.

"Very dangerous thunderstorms" had been forecast to affect Kingaroy, the area west of Kingaroy, Ellangowan, Kincora, Jondaryan and Bowenville by 6:00pm and Dalby, the area south of Dalby, the area southeast of Dalby, the area east of Dalby, the area northeast of Dalby and the area northwest of Kingaroy by 6:30pm.

The weather bureau's Diana Eadie said the storms were most likely to affect western parts of the Darling Downs, and the Maranoa.

"The most likely hazard with these storms is damaging wind gusts … in excess of 90 kilometres per hour," she said.

"Heavy rainfall's always a risk, and there is a slight possibility of large hail as well."

Yesterday as the region was hit by severe thunderstorms after a scorching Christmas Day.

Areas from the Scenic Rim and the Gold Coast through to Brisbane and Moreton Bay were hit by storm cells from about 5:30pm, with heavy rain and damaging winds thrashing the region.

The storms came after a hot summer day in the south-east, with Brisbane, Ipswich, Gatton and Beaudesert reaching a top of 36 degrees Celsius.

Power was restored to almost all homes by 9:00am on Tuesday.

Radar problems

Queensland's summer storm season is continuing to test the Bureau of Meteorology's ability to monitor severe weather.

The Mt Stapylton weather radar in the state's south-east was offline again, following yesterday's extreme conditions.

Forecaster Gordon Banks said the radar is integral to the bureau's operations, and has had multiple upgrades over the last few months.

"It doesn't affect much in the way of predictions as far as forecast are concerned but certainly for monitoring severe storms and where they are going, they're quite important to us," he said.

"We're able to determine the potential of a storm for generating hail, also it helps us identify features in the storm that may be associated with rotating storms and severe weather.

"Our technicians attempted to get in there remotely last night and see what could be done with it but nothing could be done."

Mr Banks said he didn't know when the technology would be up and running.

"It's just a case of wait and let them diagnose the problem and repair it," he said.

"We do have a back-up radar at Marburg which was very useful yesterday, but we like to have all our radars working in peak condition."

The radar was operating again by midday.


© ABC 2017

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