QLD, NSW: Thunderstorms bring heavy rain, large hail. A line of storms developed early this afternoon in a trough lying from about Charleville to the Darling Downs then south to around Port Macquarie. The storms moved very slowly southwards in SW QLD, eastwards from the Darling Downs towards Brisbane and northeastwards across the NSW North and Mid North Coasts, envigorated by moist northeasterly winds at the surface and cooler than normal temperatures in the upper atmosphere. Several severe cells developed on the Downs and Granite Belt, with hail 7cm in diameter reported ENE of Warwick at 3.40pm and marble-sized hail reported at Stanthorpe at 2.40pm. The town of Allora, 20km NNW of Warwick, had two waves of hail. Local police Sergeant Bruce Willett told ABC Radio the first wave "left a layer of white across the ground, probably large marble size. And then we had another wave come over but it was only pea-sized". Another report from Allora says that some of the hail was golfball-sized. No damage was reported in the town. Over 30,000 homes, mostly in the Lockyer Valley, Fassifern Valley and Ipswich region, lost power in the storms.
Torrential localised rain fell west and SW of Brisbane, on the eastern Darling Downs and on the NSW Mid North Coast causing flash flooding. The heaviest rainfall totals captured by the flood warning rainfall network were in the Laidley area where Bill Gunn Dam registered 72mm and Showground Weir 64mm in the hour to 7pm and
Churchbank Weir, 15km SW of Ipswich, 65mm in the hour to 8pm. Some of the heaviest falls reported from official Bureau stations were 57.2mm at Amberley AP in the hour to 8pm of which 33.8 fell in 16 minutes, 26mm in 27 minutes at Beaudesert, 12.8 in 9 minutes at Gatton, 35.4 in 30 minutes at Kempsey and 9.8 in 12 minutes at Port Macquarie AP. See downpours for details.
QLD, NSW, VIC: Bushfires continue. In QLD, fire crews were kept busy at five bush or grass fires today at Hervey Range SW of Townsville, Woolooga NW of Gympie, Purga SW of Ipswich, Chuwar NW of Ipswich and Ogmore north of Marlborough. None of the fires threatened property. Fires in SE NSW are under control or extinguished while a fire that has burnt through 660 hectares of grass and bushland near Raymond Terrace, north of Newcastle, is contained. In VIC, fires continue to burn at Cape Conran and 18 kilometres south-east of Ensay in East Gippsland.
NICARAGUA: Weakening Ida brings damage and torrential rain. The 9th named tropical storm of the Atlantic hurricane season formed close to the Nicaraguan coast yesterday and intensified into category 1 Hurricane Ida early today as it approached the country's central eastern coast packing 120km/h sustained winds. It crossed the coast this morning around sunrise near Tasbapauni. All but 20 of the 100 or so wooden shacks in nearby fishing village of Karawala were destroyed and early reports indicate a wider destruction of houses, and damage to schools and bridges. By 1pm Eastern Time (US), sustained winds near the centre had dropped to 100km/h and Ida continued to weaken below hurricane strength as it moved inland towards Honduras.