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Australia Snow-like hail and tornado lash Darling Downs in severe storm event

10:31  18 october  2021
10:31  18 october  2021 Source:   abc.net.au

Super-cell thunderstorms set to batter south-east Queensland as BOM warns of 'giant hail', destructive winds

  Super-cell thunderstorms set to batter south-east Queensland as BOM warns of 'giant hail', destructive winds South-east Queensland should prepare for a battering on Thursday, with several super-cell storms set to sweep the state bringing "giant hail" and destructive winds.Having just copped a drenching on Monday, the region now faces a new destructive weather system that will be slow moving and likely feature severe thunderstorms with possible "giant hail",  which the bureau classifies as anything larger than 5 centimetres.

Hail blanketed the Coles car park at Highfields. (Supplied: Anita Coverdale) © Provided by ABC NEWS Hail blanketed the Coles car park at Highfields. (Supplied: Anita Coverdale)

Queensland's Darling Downs is reeling from severe storms that hit "like a freight train", bringing a tornado, large hail and a deluge of rain.

The Bureau of Meteorology confirmed reports of a tornado at Pittsworth, south-west of Toowoomba, just before 11:00am.

"It seemed to be a fairly low-intensity tornado, but [there are] clear signs that it was one," forecaster Shane Kennedy said.

"In this case we had both social media photos and video, so we could see some clear rotation and [the tornado] reaching the ground.

Wild weather over Sydney brings thunder, lightning, hail and heavy rain after tornado warning

  Wild weather over Sydney brings thunder, lightning, hail and heavy rain after tornado warning A severe thunderstorm in Sydney and coastal NSW brings thunder, lightning, heavy rain and hail, following a severe weather warning that included possible tornado activity was issued late this afternoon. Very dangerous thunderstorms were detected on the weather radar near Horsley Park, Penrith and Newcastle, the Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) said.The storms had already caused problems, leaving some suburbs without power and a shopping centre in Sydney's west with a partially collapsed roof.Jordan Notaro from the BOM said while a tornado warning was issued for Western Sydney early on, the system appeared to have weakened.

"It obviously did not strike a particularly populated area, but it certainly does pose a risk."

No injuries or significant damage has been reported but the bureau is continuing to investigate.

'We don't need those rocks'

More than 51 millimetres of rain was recorded in 30 minutes this morning at Centenary Ridge, while Blackbutt in the South Burnett received 69mm.

Darling Downs agronomist Paul McIntosh said it was the most severe storm he had witnessed in years.

"We have been in Toowoomba since 1993 … and there has been nothing like this in Toowoomba as I can recall," he said.

"I am talking 20 or 30 years since I've been in a hailstorm like the one that happened today at Highfields."

Mr McIntosh welcomed the rain in the region but said he could have done without the hail.

BOM forecasts more wild weather for east coast after tornado rips through NSW's northern tablelands

  BOM forecasts more wild weather for east coast after tornado rips through NSW's northern tablelands Vehicles were turned over and roofs were torn from houses after a tornado was seen forming over a northern New South Wales town late last night.A clean-up is underway in Armidale, in the state's Northern Tablelands, after a violent storm ripped through the area and knocked out power for half the town.

"We got 30mm of rain, and we need the rain, but we don't need those rocks," he said.

"Thankfully they weren't golf-ball size.

"It doesn't look to be too much damage [but] some of my windows got a bit of a rattle and the tin roof certainly rattled."

'Freight train coming through'

Toowoomba resident Jeremy Coverdale said his wife was at work in Highfields when the storm hit and reported hail "a bit over pea-size to thumb size".

"It was like a freight train coming through," he said.

"She popped out the back for a minute and came back to that winter wonderland."

The BOM said there had been reports of hail of up to five centimetres across near Mount Larcom in central Queensland, with severe thunderstorms expected throughout Queensland most of the day as the storms track east.

"It's certainly been a fairly active start to the season," Mr Kennedy said.

"For tomorrow, we'll likely see some unsettled conditions, but the risk of severe thunderstorms should largely have passed."

Expert explains 'giant' hail phenomenon amid recent freak weather events .
A leading hail researcher has explained the cause of record-breaking hailstones that continue to hit Queensland and New South Wales , are most common in spring and early summer, requiring very specific conditions.READ MORE: International travel opens up for fully vaccinated Australians © 9News Carparks were flooded with many people left stranded after wild weather hit Coffs Harbour last week. The BoM confirmed the giant hail measuring 16cm in Yalboroo, near Mackay, last week had eclipsed previous Australian records of 14cm.

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