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Afternoon storms may bring giant hail and flash flooding on Queensland election day, BOM warns

By Jess Rendall and staff, Saturday October 31, 2020 - 12:10 EDT
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The BOM has also warned of potential for flash flooding in Brisbane. - ABC licensed

Severe thunderstorms with giant hail, damaging winds and flash flooding are predicted to hit some areas in Central and South-East Queensland later today, the Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) says.

Clouds formed in the eastern Darling Downs this morning and are expected to travel east and develop into severe thunderstorms in the early to mid-afternoon and into the evening.

The storm is driven by a low pressure system in New South Wales, extending a trough all the way up the east coast into Queensland, stopping short of Proserpine, north of Rockhampton.

BOM forecaster James Thompson said severe thunderstorms were possible along and east of the Great Dividing Range.

"[Those areas] have the best chance of a severe thunderstorm today, so quite a large stretch of the east coast, " Mr Thompson said.

The BOM has also warned of potential for flash flooding in Brisbane, with more than 60 millimetres of rain expected to be dumped on the city in an hour later this afternoon.

However, Mr Thompson said the flooding would not be widespread.

"With the recent rainfall it means the catchments are a little more primed than they were earlier in the week, so with heavy rainfall we could see flash flooding," he said.

The storms are expected to extend into Western Queensland, east of Dalby and Chinchilla in the Darling Downs and east of Clermont in the Central Highlands.

Areas south of Gladstone, Biloela and Thangool, and parts of the Sunshine Coast, Brisbane and Gold Coast could also be affected.

In some areas, the severe thunderstorm activity has been predicted to include hail and damaging winds.

"Large to giant hail in excess of two centimetres, damaging wind gusts in excess of 90 kilometres per hour and rainfall that can lead to flash flooding," Mr Thompson said.

"Those isolated severe thunderstorms are a significant risk today and we do ask people to keep an eye on the bureau website for any warnings.

"The best thing you can do to prepare is bring any objects that could fly around, inside, clear out any gutters, and keep any valuables out of the way of any storms and make sure nothing is going to fly around that could damage anyone else or their property."

The storms are expected to move out of South-East Queensland later this evening and a slight wind change early next week means most of the severe thunderstorm activity would not affect the south-east region next week.

"We're looking at more benign conditions from tomorrow for most of Queensland, just with the slight risk of thunderstorms lingering around the Capricornia coast tomorrow," Mr Thompson said.


© ABC 2020

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