Sunday 26 OCT 2003

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2003

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Severe storms lash SE QLD, NSW North Coast


Brisbane (Marburg) radar from 00.40UTC (10.40am) to 06.40UTC (4.40pm). The aniimation slows from 03.00 to 03.50UTC (1 to 1.50pm) when heavy hail was being dumped on Warwick and the southern Gold Coast. Note the first Gold Coast storm moving SE while all other storm elements are moving ENE. Coolangatta appears to have had three separate storm cells between 03.50 and 05.10UTC (1.50pm and 3.10pm) BoM

The trough that brought severe storms to central and SE NSW yesterday moved through the northeast of the state this morning and through SE QLD this afternoon bringing further severe weather. Storms began to develop along a line from about Coffs Harbour to Inverell late this morning. This line moved NE, while at the same time thunderstorms propagated NW along the troughline, extending to Toowoomba around 2pm and to south of Emerald around 5pm.

While heavy rain has been a feature of SE QLD storms over the past three days, today's event was more notable for hail, strong downdraft winds and a likely tornado. Over 600 homes on the Gold Coast and in NE NSW along with countless motor vehicles were damaged by hail, with the Insurance Council of Australia anticipating 6,000 claims totalling over $16m.

The final damage bill for storms in NSW during October was put at $46m, with the State Government offering financial assistance to 380 growers worst affected. The storms ripped through banana plantations, native flower and vegetable crops in the Sydney basin, on the north coast between Port Macquarie and Yamba and in areas such as Goulburn and Bowral, in the Southern Highlands.

Strong wind gusts caught by automatic weather stations included 100km/h at Warwick, 96 at Gatton and 95 at Rockhampton. The heaviest short-duration rainfall measurements were 5.2mm in 2 minutes at Rockhampton, 8.6mm in 4 minutes at Warwick and 2mm in 1 minute at Cape Byron.

In NE NSW, Banora Point, just south of Tweed Heads, received most damage, with the SES called to 56 jobs. Giant hail to 9cm diameter was reported near Grafton. Damage was also reported from golfball to tennis ball sized hail in the Kyogle district and at Tyndale, 30km NE of Grafton. Vegetable fruit and native flower crops were flattened in the Bellingen and Nambucca shires with the damage to up to 100 horticultural producers estimated to be as much as $10m.

On the QLD Gold Coast, the storms arrived early this afternoon, blowing down trees and powerlines, unroofing houses and shattering windows and car windscreens with golfball sized hail. 35,000 homes were blacked out with 3,000 still without power the next morning. SES personnel were brought in from as far away as Toowoomba and Gympie to help tarpauline roofs and make emergency repairs. Around 500 SES workers were kept busy until Wednesday. Some cars were damaged to the point of being insurance write-offs. A Qantas jet was damanged and forced to land shortly after taking off into the hailstorm. Flooding resulted in Gold Coast 12 residents being moved to emergency accommodation. The rain, wind and hail also temporarily halted the Gold Coast Indy Car Race only 14 laps into the race as cars slid around on marble sized hail.

Brisbane's Courier Mail claimed that hail punched as many as 200 holes in individual house and shop roofs in Currumbin, Tugun, Elanora and Palm Beach in the southern Gold Coast where the most concentrated damage seems to have occurred. At the Currumbin State School, 16 buildings were badly damaged by hail. Over 100 animals and birds, including a dozen kangaroos and wallabies and 14 pelicans, were battered to death by hail up to cricket ball size at the Curumbin Wildlife Sanctuary just north of Coolangatta. They included three endangered Dorcopsis wallabies from Papua New Guinea. The sanctuary had the only six Dorcopsis wallabies in captivity in Australia, as part of a breeding program to try to increase their numbers.

At Stanthorpe, two houses were destroyed and fruit crops and trees ripped out by what has been initially estimated as an F2 tornado by the Brisbane severe weather section of the Bureau of Meteorology. One of the houses destroyed, a Queenslander-style, was moved off its foundations and dumped metres away with the occupants inside unhurt. An SES spokesman said the damage trail was 500m wide, and that a 10ha pine plantation had been flattened. Hail with the storm destroyed fruit and vegetable crops, hail netting and some sheds from Stanthorpe north to Warwick with some producers losing half their crops and a damage bill around $1m expected. A section of hail netting blown from a property in Stanthorpe was claimed to have been identified in Liston, 20km to the east and over the border in NSW.

Three other suspected tornados were reported in SE QLD. One was reported at Mt Nebo, 25km WNW of Brisbane CBD; a second at Biggendon, 70km W of Maryborough, where a damage track 500m wide and 1km long was reported; and a third about 12km south of Kilkivan, 45km WNW of Gympie, where a disjointed damage track 100m wide and several kilometres in length was reported. In the Kilkivan suspected tornado, trees were described as having been "screwed off" and some building damage was also reported.

Golfball sized hail was also reported from northern Brisbane suburbs including Woody Point, Sandgate, Redcliffe and Bracken Ridge, while hail of the same size accompanied by strong winds damaged 90 homes in the Samford to Mount Nebo area. Tree, powerline and some roof damage was reported in the area around Esk, Laidley and Ipswich. Farther north and northwest of Brisbane, tree and roof damage was reported from Eidsvold and Blackbutt, golfball sized hail from Baralaba, Nanango and Burnett Heads, and a wind gust of 94km/h at Rockhampton. West of Brisbane, Warwick reported 5cm hail, flash flooding and a wind gust of 100km/h.

News sources: ABC, AAP, News.com, Courier Mail,

National weather extremes for today

Data provided by the Bureau of Meteorology

Records set this day: (none known)

Quality control note: Data is final. It includes late-received rainfall data and has been subject to BoM quality control checks.
Data is as received at 13:38EST, 03/03/2004.

Weather observations for today
Noteworthy  Weather         Capital  Cities         Regional  Cities       Alpine  Stations
Bureau of Meteorology Rainfall Bulletins and Weather Notes

Hottest
Highest maximum temperature>Greatest variation above normal maximum Highest minimum temperatureGreatest variation above normal minimum

44.7 CENTURY MINE Gulf Country QLD
42.9 CLONCURRY AIRPORT Gulf Country QLD
42.6 ELLIOTT N Plateau NT
42.1 JULIA CREEK AIRPORT Gulf Country QLD
42.1 TOORAK RESEARCH STATION Gulf Country QLD

+9.5   35.1 KALGOORLIE-BOULDER AIRPORT Goldfields WA
+8.4   39.5 WARBURTON AIRFIELD Interior WA
+8.4   35.3 MULLEWA Central West WA
+8.3   32.5 HYDEN Cent Wheatbelt WA
+7.9   40.0 CARNEGIE Interior WA

29.0 NORTHERN ENDEAVOUR Islands ISL
28.5 ARGYLE AERODROME E Kimberley WA
28.1 WARMUN E Kimberley WA
27.2 WYNDHAM AERO N Kimberley WA
27.0 WYNDHAM N Kimberley WA

+11.4   25.0 TAMBO POST OFFICE Central Highlands QLD
+8.6   22.9 CHARLEVILLE AERO Warrego QLD
+8.1   20.9 INJUNE POST OFFICE Maranoa QLD
+7.9   17.3 MERREDIN Cent Wheatbelt WA
+7.8   17.0 SOUTHERN CROSS Goldfields WA

Coldest
Lowest maximum temperatureGreatest variation below normal maximum Lowest minimum temperatureGreatest variation below normal minimum

0.0 MT BAW BAW W Gippsland VIC
3.8 MOUNT WELLINGTON Southeast TAS
4.0 MOUNT BULLER Upper NE VIC
5.0 THREDBO AWS Snowy Mtns NSW
5.0 HARTZ MOUNTAIN (KEOGHS PIMPLE) Southeast TAS

-6.6   11.1 NOOJEE (SLIVAR) W Gippsland VIC
-6.5   10.0 BALLARAT AERODROME Western Plains VIC
-6.4   28.5 MARDIE W Pilbara WA
-6.3   12.7 MELBOURNE AIRPORT E Central VIC
-6.3   13.7 MARYBOROUGH N Central VIC

-4.7 MOUNT WELLINGTON Southeast TAS
-3.7 LIAWENEE Central Plateau TAS
-3.0 MT BAW BAW W Gippsland VIC
-1.1 HARTZ MOUNTAIN (KEOGHS PIMPLE) Southeast TAS
-1.0 THREDBO AWS Snowy Mtns NSW
-1.0 MOUNT BULLER Upper NE VIC

-7.5   0.9 ROSEDALE (TURRETFIELD RESEARCH CENTRE) Adelaide/Lofty SA
-6.6   -0.6 GEEVESTON (CEMETERY ROAD) Southeast TAS
-6.3   0.2 DOVER Southeast TAS
-6.3   -0.5 BUSHY PARK (BUSHY PARK ESTATES) Derwent Valley TAS
-6.0   4.0 EDINBURGH RAAF Adelaide/Lofty SA

Wettest Major City Extremes
Todays highest rainfall totals for the 24 hours to 9am. It includes the top 5 totals nationally followed by all reported falls of 50mm or more.

88.0 BEROWRA (GOODWYN ROAD) Sydney--west NSW
72.0 AMBERLEY (DNR) TM Brisbane/SE Coast QLD
64.5 TRARALGON CREEK @ KOORNALLA W Gippsland VIC
60.8 TUMBULGUM (BAWDEN ST) North Coast NSW
58.0 FOXLEY ALERT Brisbane/SE Coast QLD

QUEENSLAND
    Brisbane/SE Coast
72.0 AMBERLEY (DNR) TM
58.0 FOXLEY ALERT
57.0 SOUTHPORT DRURY AVE
52.4 DARLINGTON
52.0 NUMINBAH
    Darling Downs E
50.0 BEARDY JUNCTION

NEW SOUTH WALES
    North Coast
60.8 TUMBULGUM (BAWDEN ST)
54.0 MOUNT NUMINBAH
    MidNorth Coast N
55.0 BOWRAVILLE - BEN AVON
    Sydney--west
88.0 BEROWRA (GOODWYN ROAD)

VICTORIA
    W Gippsland
64.5 TRARALGON CREEK @ KOORNALLA

  Max+/- norm Min+/- normRain to 9am
BROOME AIRPORT 29.4 -3.4 24.2 +1.9 0.0
PERTH AIRPORT 24.8 +2.4 13.7 +3.5 0.0
ALBANY AIRPORT 16.8 -1.9 13.0 +4.0 0.0
KALGOORLIE-BOULDER AIRPORT 35.1 +9.5 15.4 +4.5 0.0
DARWIN AIRPORT 36.1 +3.0 25.5 +0.5 0.0
ALICE SPRINGS AIRPORT 37.8 +7.0 15.2 +0.5 0.0
ADELAIDE (KENT TOWN) 18.2 -3.4 8.2 -3.2 8.0
MOUNT GAMBIER AERO 13.7 -4.1 7.7 +0.6 0.0
CAIRNS AERO 29.9 +0.4 24.0 +3.4 0.0
TOWNSVILLE AERO 31.1 +1.7 24.6 +3.9 0.0
ROCKHAMPTON AERO 33.3 +3.7 21.1 +4.2 0.0
AMBERLEY AMO 33.4 +5.8 16.8 +3.4 5.8
BRISBANE AERO 28.7 19.8 1.4
ARMIDALE AIRPORT AWS 20.3 9.2 1.8
COFFS HARBOUR MO 25.1 +1.6 19.2 +5.4 0.8
NEWCASTLE NOBBYS SIGNAL STATION AWS 20.1 -2.0 16.0 +2.1 15.0
SYDNEY (OBSERVATORY HILL) 23.1 +1.1 14.9 +1.4 4.4
PROSPECT DAM 24.7 +1.2 12.8 +0.7 11.6
WOLLONGONG UNIVERSITY 21.5 -0.5 12.2 -0.4 18.8
CANBERRA AIRPORT 16.7 -2.5 6.5 +0.5 4.8
WAGGA WAGGA AMO 19.4 -1.8 7.5 -0.2 11.2
MILDURA AIRPORT 20.7 -3.0 7.2 -2.5 2.0
EAST SALE AIRPORT 15.2 -3.9 8.9 +1.3 33.0
MELBOURNE REGIONAL OFFICE 15.3 -4.3 9.8 +0.4 3.0
LAVERTON RAAF 14.3 -4.7 8.5 +0.3 4.2
BALLARAT AERODROME 10.0 -6.5 4.5 -1.7 10.6
LAUNCESTON AIRPORT 15.8 -0.6 4.1 -1.5 0.0
HOBART (ELLERSLIE ROAD) 14.9 -2.0 2.4 -5.3 0.0

Downpours Gales & Gusts
High rainfall for periods of 6 hours or less. Highest wind gusts above 89km/h (storm force) or mean wind above 62km/h (gale force). Wind direction and mean windspeed shown in brackets.
WESTERN AUSTRALIA
    SW & S Coast
SHANNON
12.6mm in 1 hr to 23:00 12.6mm/h
QUEENSLAND
    Central Coast E
YEPPOON THE ESPLANADE
6.6mm in 9 min to 19:01 44.0mm/h
6.2mm in 14 min to 19:15 26.6mm/h
    Wide Bay/Burnett
ROCKHAMPTON AERO
5.2mm in 2 min to 18:26 156.0mm/h
15.4mm in 1 hr to 18:30 15.4mm/h
21.0mm in 3 hr to 21:00 7.0mm/h
    Brisbane/SE Coast
CAPE MORETON LIGHTHOUSE
15.0mm in 3 hr to 00:00 5.0mm/h
6.0mm in 6 min to 15:51 60.0mm/h
NAMBOUR DPI
9.6mm in 10 min to 16:10 57.6mm/h
13.4mm in 1 hr to 17:00 13.4mm/h
15.0mm in 3 hr to 18:00 5.0mm/h
BEERBURRUM FOREST STN
5.0mm in 14 min to 15:42 21.4mm/h
COOLANGATTA AIRPORT
29.0mm in 3 hr to 00:00 9.7mm/h
4.4mm in 11 min to 14:00 24.0mm/h
10.4mm in 1 hr to 14:00 10.4mm/h
15.8mm in 1 hr to 14:30 15.8mm/h
20.0mm in 3 hr to 15:00 6.7mm/h
BRISBANE AERO
5.6mm in 8 min to 15:12 42.0mm/h
11.0mm in 1 hr to 15:30 11.0mm/h
MAROOCHYDORE AERO
11.4mm in 15 min to 16:27 45.6mm/h
13.4mm in 1 hr to 17:00 13.4mm/h
    Darling Downs E
WARWICK
8.6mm in 4 min to 13:27 129.0mm/h
13.0mm in 29 min to 14:00 26.9mm/h
32.6mm in 1 hr to 14:00 32.6mm/h
33.0mm in 6 hr to 18:00 5.5mm/h
NEW SOUTH WALES
    North Coast
GRAFTON RESEARCH STN
9.8mm in 33 min to 16:00 17.8mm/h
CASINO AIRPORT AWS
11.8mm in 53 min to 14:53 13.4mm/h
15.0mm in 3 hr to 15:00 5.0mm/h
BYRON BAY (CAPE BYRON AWS)
2.0mm in 1 min to 15:06 120.0mm/h
19.0mm in 1 hr to 16:00 19.0mm/h
19.0mm in 3 hr to 18:00 6.3mm/h
    MidNorth Coast N
KEMPSEY AIRPORT AWS
14.8mm in 1 hr to 12:00 14.8mm/h
18.0mm in 3 hr to 12:00 6.0mm/h
ISLANDS
    Islands
LORD HOWE ISLAND AERO
10.4mm in 1 hr to 21:30 10.4mm/h
15.0mm in 3 hr to 22:00 5.0mm/h

QUEENSLAND
    Wide Bay/Burnett
LADY ELLIOT ISLAND : 91(350/ 67 ) at 20:01
ROCKHAMPTON AERO : 95(210/ 45 ) at 18:20
HERON ISLAND RES STN : 78(360/ 65 ) at 20:06
    Brisbane/SE Coast
CAPE MORETON LIGHTHOUSE : 91(290/ 13 ) at 15:55
UNIVERSITY OF QUEENSLAND GATTON : 96(230/ 82 ) at 14:08
    Darling Downs E
WARWICK : 100(260/ 30 ) at 13:21
NEW SOUTH WALES
    North Coast
EVANS HEAD RAAF BOMBING RANGE : 83(200/ 67 ) at 16:37
VICTORIA
    W Gippsland
WILSONS PROMONTORY LIGHTHOUSE : 95(250/ 76 ) at 20:00
KINGFISH B SHIP LOG 272 : 74(248/ 65 ) at 18:00
TASMANIA
    N Coast
CAPE GRIM B.A.P.S. : 80(200/ 67 ) at 04:00
    Southeast
MAATSUYKER ISLAND LIGHTHOUSE : 87(290/ 76 ) at 15:00
MOUNT WELLINGTON : 96(230/ 76 ) at 20:00
HARTZ MOUNTAIN(KEOGHS PIMPLE) : 78(250/ 63 ) at 19:00
ISLANDS
    Islands
HOGAN ISLAND : 83(250/ 72 ) at 17:00