Two tornadoes were seen as severe thunderstorms with large hail and heavy rain moving over large parts of Queensland.
- Heavy rains can cause flash floods, with large hail also possible in parts of Queensland
- There were reports of golf ball-sized hail near Mount Larcom in central Queensland this morning
- A fire warning was also issued for the Central Highlands and Coalfields district today
The Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) confirmed a tornado in Pittsworth southwest of Toowoomba and was investigating another seen at Bracewell near Gladstone.
The BOM said the thunderstorms were moving south to the southeast and forecast to affect Logan, Gold Coast and parts of the Ipswich Council and Scenic Rim areas.
He said heavy rains could lead to flash floods, with large hail also possible.
A thunderstorm warning is also in effect for residents of parts of Capricornia, Wide Bay and Burnett, Central Coast and Whitsundays, Central Highlands and Coalfields, and further inland in Darling Downs and Granite Belt.
Bundaberg, Maryborough, Hervey Bay, Calliope, Gin Gin, Gympie, Tiaro, Warwick, Toowoomba, Dalby, Inglewood, Clifton, Pittsworth and Stanthorpe could be impacted.
Areas northwest of Noosa Heads, Cootharaba Lake, and Kin Kin are also expected to be affected by wild weather, along with Gympie, Gladstone, Rockhampton and Kingaroy.
The BOM confirmed this afternoon that there had been a tornado southwest of Toowoomba near Pittsworth, reported just before 11:00 a.m.
He was also investigating reports from residents of a tornado in Bracewell, west of Gladstone, this morning.
Heather Cuzens has lived at her Bracewell property near Gladstone for four years and said she has never seen a storm formation like the one she saw this morning.
“We have very good thunderstorms here in the summer [but] I haven’t seen anything like it, ”she said.
“I was shocked.”
“The clouds swirl very fast”
Ms Cuzens said she was out to check for hail.
Ms Cuzens said she “had more at the last minute” before the training was tampered with.
“It wasn’t moving fast or anything like that… and then it just went up in the sky.”
While the formation was not moving, Ms. Cuzens stated that “the clouds [were] whirling very fast “.
Senior forecaster Shane Kennedy said the BOM had assessed the footage and was continuing its investigation.
“I imagine we will have other images and some people will also be looking at the impacts on the ground.”
The BOM said there had also been reports of golf ball-sized hail near Mount Larcom in central Queensland this morning.
BOM said 51 millimeters of rain were recorded in 30 minutes this morning at Centenary Bridge in the Darling Downs.
A combination of above average temperatures, dry air, and cool westerly to southwest winds are producing severe fire danger conditions in the Central Highlands and Coalfields District.
BOM forecaster Shane Kennedy said destructive winds, large hailstones and heavy rains, which could lead to flash floods, were possible in affected areas today and tomorrow, with the most severe cells expected this afternoon.
“We are very likely to see a fair amount of precipitation today, so looking at the 20 to 40 millimeter range in most [impacted] region, ”Kennedy said.
“Most of the danger is expected to lie to the northwest, roughly northwest of Kingaroy today and we already have a storm warning for the Rockhampton area.
“We will likely see these showers and storms continue overnight and into tomorrow.”
The BOM said the storm’s violent activity was caused by a mass of hot, humid air residing over the southeastern districts, combined with an upper trough.
Heatwave conditions are developing in and around the Gulf this week and will peak on Wednesday.
The BOM expects the “unresolved” thunderstorm activity to persist until at least Thursday.
“Pretty unstable this week, really unstable, [it will] hang out Wednesday and Thursday at this point… but it could definitely still be a little wet for the next few days, at least, ”Mr. Kennedy said.
A fire warning was also issued for the Central Highlands and Coalfields district today.
The BOM said “above-average temperatures, dry air and cool west-to-southwest winds” created a “very high fire danger” for the central and northern districts.