Fairfax Media Network

Weather News

Tornado tears through crops

Kristy Sexton-McGrath, Wednesday February 17, 2010 - 10:42 EDT

A tornado has ripped through far north Queensland, amazing onlookers.

Residents say the tornado travelled through an area just south of Atherton yesterday afternoon, damaging crops.

Atherton resident Chris told ABC Local Radio, the tornado was strong enough to throw a pile of tractor tyres 100 metres into the air.

"I just couldn't believe my eyes. To the left of me, off the road there, a tornado, a funnel actually dropped," he said.

"The funnel was clear as. It went right up into the sky and you could see it dropping and as it was moving you could actually see it spinning the dust and the corn and it was all coming up to there."

Maize farmer Adrian Gallo says the tornado was about 10 metres wide and went straight through a pile of farming equipment.

"We've basically gone through the property, collecting gear - there's some gear that we've picked up 500 metres away," he said.

"There's a lot that's lost in the grass that we can't find.

"The tyres - I think the furthermost one would have been 50 metres away from where it was."

Weather bureau forecaster Bill O'Connor says the tornado was caused by a passing storm.

"In the past, we've seen damage that's obviously from a tornado. Any thunderstorm has the potential of producing one," he said.

Mr O'Connor says he was surprised by power of the tornado.

"Generally up here we don't get tornados that powerful I suppose but I think they are a little more frequent than what we give them credit for," he said.

"Fortunately they tend to develop in areas that aren't that inhabited."


© ABC 2010

More breaking news

Sydney Morning Herald
ABC News
National Nine News
News Limited

Display Your Local Weather

Weather News

BoM predicts more storms as Penrith hit with one month's rain in half an hour

13:51 EDT

The heavens opened hard and fast in western Sydney last night, with some areas receiving a month's worth of rain in half an hour.

Grazier's heartbreak watching rain pass him by

10:50 EDT

As the crow flies, pastoralists Lachlan Gall and Brendan Cullen live about 100 kilometres apart in the far west of New South Wales.

Stormy week continues in NSW

10:42 EDT

Severe thunderstorm warnings have been issued in NSW each day this week, with more dangerous storms likely to develop in central and northern parts of the state on Thursday.