Severe storm hits brisbane – one of the worst in history

One of the most severe storms to hit Brisbane in 2014

The 2014 Brisbane hailstorm struck Brisbane, the capital of Queensland, Australia, on the 27th of November 2014.

Where is Brisbane?

Brisbane is a capital city located in Queensland, a state of Australia.

The storm damaged many buildings and cars. Forty people sustained injuries. Numerous hail reports were received from the surrounding area and recorded wind speeds of 141 km/h (88 MPH).

Severe storm hits brisbane – one of the worst in history

Conditions and climatology

Warm & humid air over South East Queensland collided with cooler air from a southerly change causing instability and favourable conditions. Numerous cells were formed near the New South Wales border. One storm intensified into an intense supercell.

Severe storm hits brisbane – one of the worst in history
Radar image of 2104 brisbane hailstorm

The progression of the storm

It struck at peak hour. The storm lasted only half an hour and was of brief duration. Archerfield recorded peak wind gusts of 141 km/h (88 miles per hour).

While supercell storms form each year within the region, it had been rare for one to strike the central parts of Brisbane. Reports of giant hail were widespread across Brisbane and surrounding areas.

The storm tracked northward, threatening suburbs in the Moreton Bay area. It moved in the area of Redcliffe, North Lakes, around 30-40 minutes after the impact.

However, it did not cause the most severe damage. It had already turned northeast and eventually moved out to sea just before sunset.

Severe storm hits brisbane – one of the worst in history

Aftermath

The storm was described by a senior meteorologist at the Bureau of Meteorology as the worst in ten years. More than 100,000 people lost their power supply. Six hundred forty-two power lines were downed. Hail caused roof damage to around 2,000 homes.

Thirty-nine people were injured, with 12 treated at hospitals. Numerous planes were damaged at Archerfield Airport. After the storm, more than 12 schools were shut down. The structural damage to Brisbane’s government buildings and the council was worth million.

Severe storm hits brisbane – one of the worst in history

It was estimated that the storm had caused $1.1 billion in property and structural damage between February 2015 and February 2015. Many motorists and others were unaware of the hail and could not flee.

According to the Insurance Council of Australia, around 100,000 insurance claims were lodged, with almost two-thirds for vehicles & other transportation.

The storm produced wind gusts exceeding 140 km/h and caused destruction in Brisbane and other areas to the west.

According to the Bureau of Meteorology, two storm cells formed a superstorm cell. Large hailstones battered windows in homes and cars and damaged high-rise buildings.

Severe storm hits brisbane – one of the worst in history

A fallen tree hurt a local woman. At Archerfield airport, planes, helicopters, and other aircraft were damaged and flipped. Significant damage was done to the airport infrastructure.

After the severe thunderstorm that struck around 4:45 pm (AEST), power outages were felt by 83,000 customers. At 12:30 am, just over 73,000 customers were still without power.

Premier Campbell Newman asked ADF and SES volunteers to help with roof repairs and recovery efforts.

Severe storm hits brisbane – one of the worst in history

But this storm was ferocious and arguably the worst for this city since 1985.

The storm deviated north towards the Sunshine Coast and Gympie before a severe thunderstorm warning was cancelled at 8:19 pm.

What is a supercell?

A supercell is a thunderstorm with a mesocyclone, a persistently rotating updraft. These storms are often called rotating thunderstorms.

Severe storm hits brisbane – one of the worst in history

Supercells, among the most common types of severe weather and thunderstorms (squall line, cold front, multi-cell, and single-cell), can be the most powerful and often the least frequent. Supercells can dominate local weather up to 32 km (20 mi) away. They can last for between 2 and 4 hours.

Supercell thunderstorms can be divided into three types: classical (Normal precipitation level), high-precipitation(HP), or classic (Normal rainfall level). Supercells with LP supercells tend to be found in more arid climates, like the U.S.A’s high plains.

Severe storm hits brisbane – one of the worst in history

On the other hand, HP supercells are more common in humid climates. If the right climatic conditions are met, supercells can be found anywhere in the world.

Read more about supercell’s severe storms here: http://www.bom.gov.au/weather-services/severe-weather-knowledge-centre/severethunder.shtml

Sources

Weather Maps and Tools


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