Violent thunderstorms hit Queensland with hurricane-force winds
A violent storm, described as one of the worst to hit the region in a decade, hit eastern Queensland, Australia on November 7, 2017, with hurricane-force winds, heavy rain and large hailstones. Bundaberg Mayor Jack Dempsey said the severity of the winds was something he had never seen before.
The storm hit the region Tuesday afternoon with five severe storm cells on the radar at one point, winds reaching up to 150 km/h (93 mph) and hailstones up to 5 cm (1.96 inches).
"Bundaberg was left reeling after a supercell hit the city late in the afternoon, bringing down large trees and causing minor structural damage to buildings. A wind gust of 98 km/h (38 mph) was recorded at the airport and the storm produced 22 mm (0.86 inches) of rain in 10 minutes. The abrupt downpour caused the temperature to drop by 7 °C (12.6 °F) in five minutes," Ben Domensino of Weatherzone said, adding that Bundaberg's total of 39 mm (1.53 inches) is close to half a month's worth of rain for this time of year.
Bundaberg Mayor Jack Dempsey said the severity of the winds was something he had never seen before. "People normally expect the winds to come from one angle but it came from every angle with this one. It was like being in a tumble drier," he told AAP today.
Winds managed to down an iconic, 100-year-old fig tree near fire station on Woongarra Street. The tree fell on a car with two people inside, but they managed to escape without any serious injuries.
Video courtesy Austin Hunter
At the peak of the storm, 26 500 homes were without power, Ergon Energy said, adding that it would 'probably be the worst storm in the Wide Bay region in about 10 years.' By Wednesday afternoon, power was restored to 15 000 homes.
The storm in Bundaberg lasted some 30 minutes and was the city's 3rd major severe weather event in 2 months.
The heaviest rain from Tuesday's storms occurred on the Sunshine Coast and Noosa Hinterland areas, where Cooran received 80 mm (3.15 inches) and Kandanga 77 mm (3.03 inches).
More potentially severe storms are expected in the region in the days ahead.
Featured image: Supercell approaching Bundaberg, Queensland, Australia on November 7, 2017. Credit: Austin Hunter
Severe storm sweeps through New Zealand, causing major power outages
A severe storm swept through New Zealand late Tuesday into Wednesday, November 8, 2017, leaving much of the South Island without power. Wind gusts reached 154 km/h (95 mph), maximum hourly rainfall 33 mm (1.29 inches) and snow was reported even at low elevations.
The storm front moved through the upper West Coast of the South Island, and to some extent the east coast down to North Canterbury between about midnight and 03:30 local time, hitting the region with powerful winds, heavy rain and snow.
The strongest wind gust was recorded in Wellington, with 154 km (95 mph) at Mt Kaukau at 05:00 NZDT, Wednesday. 115 km/h (71 mph) was recorded at Kelburn at 04:00 and 105 km/h (65 mph) at Wellington airport at 05:00.
Houses in the Monaco and Tahunanui areas of Nelson were flooded by the storm and sea surge, and a couple of houses in Nelson had their doors blown off, Fire and Emergency New Zealand (FENZ) spokesman Ian Littlejohn said.
A group of campers on a waterfront reserve area in the Mapua and Ruby Bay area were given help to evacuate. "When the storm surge came through the group decided they didn't feel safe enough to remain," Littlejohn said, as reported by Stuff. The water was at knee level in the area where the group had been camping.
Strong winds gradually easing, but still gusty through many eastern parts. Winds will continue to gradually ease through the day. ^TA pic.twitter.com/d6ceS6i6VO— MetService (@MetService) 8 november 2017
Thanks to Adam Fleming for this shot of Kingston Otago under a morning coat of snow. ^TA pic.twitter.com/9SlZtKra3p— MetService (@MetService) 7 november 2017
Power was out to much of the South Island Wednesday morning. "We have been hit reasonably hard in the western region," Powernet Otago said.
Here are the stats so far on last night's severe weather. Still a band of intense rain for Auckland but otherwise things are easing now. ^TA pic.twitter.com/ZAUIQbgoqD— MetService (@MetService) 7 november 2017
"The real story with this system is it's very short, sharp, intense in this overnight period, but things are easing off quickly for just about everybody. From this afternoon it's going to be fine with just moderate winds everywhere pretty much," MetService meteorologist Karl Loots said.
There are no reports of injuries.
Another potentially significant rainmaking event is expected to hit the upper North Island over the weekend.
Featured image: Snow in Te Anau, New Zealand on November 8, 2017. Image credit: Antonia Croft, MetService