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BOM says overnight storm in Brisbane, south-east Queensland 'a sign of things to come'

Tuesday May 11, 2021 - 01:00 EST
ABC image
The storm dropped very little rain over Brisbane. - ABC

A quick moving storm swept through south-east Queensland overnight, generating a spectacular thunder-and-lightning show with some strikes causing damage to the electricity network.

The storm formed over the northern Darling Downs before moving down across the city about 1:30am.

Energex said earlier this morning up to 17,500 homes and businesses were without power, although throughout the morning many had since had access restored.

The energy provider recorded 66,000 lightning strikes across the region.

The Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) forecaster Kimba Wong said the storm cell was so fast-moving there wasn't much rain.

"Certainly when it did fall it was quite heavy, in a very short burst," she said.

"I think we've got basically a strip across from about Oakey to the Gold Coast, where we had about 10 to 20 millimetres in most gauges there."

BOM yesterday said storm and shower activity across eastern Queensland was set to increase this week, especially today and tomorrow.

"Perhaps a sign of things to come for the next couple of days so we certainly are expecting quite active conditions," she said.

"That's all due to an upper trough that's amplifying over the state, so just ahead of that system we've got very ripe atmospheric conditions for storm activity over the next couple of days."

Ms Wong said storm activity could significantly increase throughout the day.

"Today may be an interesting one," she said.

"I'm just thinking that if we've had all this activity overnight and early this morning, the afternoon period actually might be a little bit more suppressed and in which case things might ramp up quite significantly for Wednesday, which I am expecting to be the wettest day this week anyway."

Rainfall is expected to be heaviest around the Sunshine Coast hinterland and the Gold Coast region today, with falls of between 5 and 30 millimetres possible.

Autumn storms 'fairly common' in Queensland

A line of overnight storms passed over South-East Queensland last week.

Storm activity is expected to ease from Thursday, with sunshine on the forecast for Friday across most of the state.

BOM forecaster Rosa Hoff said stormy weather at this time of year was not unusual, and that the impact from the La Niña system had eased.

"Traditionally we do see the impact of it over the spring and summer months and as we've transitioned into autumn its influence has eased," she said.

"It's not uncommon for us to see troughs moving across inland Queensland.

"It is fairly common to see the occasional bursts of storm-like weather through the transitional months."


© ABC 2021

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