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Hail rips through Burnett and Bureau of Meteorology forecasts more supercells on the way

By Scott Lamond and Megan Hughes, Friday October 23, 2020 - 13:22 EDT
ABC licensed image
A fast-moving storm tore through the Burnett on Thursday afternoon, covering paddocks in hail. - ABC licensed

Farmers west of Bundaberg say Thursday's hail storm was one like they have never seen before and the weather bureau is warning it may just be a taste of what's ahead over the next week.



Rain gauges were smashed by golf ball-sized hail yesterday afternoon and local creeks had their first run in months.

Barry Whittaker, who lives on a property near Eidsvold, took a drive after the storm.

"I got in my cruiser to see if the creek was over and the jolly hail, from the water washing it out onto the road, I had to go through a foot of hail," Mr Whittaker said.

"We would have had up to 100 millimetres of rain and the hail was three to four inches deep around the house.

"I'm not complaining, I'm laughing."

All seven council areas in the region remain drought declared.



Cattle grazier Rodney Johannesen is at Malarga, between Biggenden and Kilkivan.

"The noise was deafening, it was just torrential rain and there was not quite an inch in the rain gauge," Mr Johannesen said.

"All the fly screens on the house along one side and across the back have been torn to shreds.

"We've had virtually no rain for seven months here so we're really, really desperate."

'Haven't seen hail like this in 25 years'

Thursday's storm hit grazier Liam Payne's family property.

He said the narrow storm lasted about half an hour, dumping 23mm, but their rain gauge was destroyed.

"It was spectacular and it got a bit scary," Mr Payne said.

"Hopefully we are on the way to fill a few dams.

"Everyone is looking for rain so a few of these good storms would be nice."



Supercell Sunday

Sunday through to Wednesday is expected to be an active storm period for the Wide Bay and Burnett.

Bureau of Meteorology senior forecaster, Kimba Wong, said seven-day totals of more than 200mm were possible.

"You couldn't rule out higher rainfall totals if storms hit the same areas," Ms Wong said.

"There could be supercells in the Wide Bay and Burnett area on Sunday."



Farmers like Mr Johannesen hope they get more rain without any damage.

"Let's hope what we've had opens the soil up and it'll just want to suck it in like a big sponge," he said.

The BOM has forecast conditions to ease late next week as the upper trough moves off shore.


- ABC

© ABC 2020

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