South-east Queensland’s severe storms ease after ‘a risk to life’ threat, bureau says
Severe thunderstorms tracking across south-east Queensland are easing but heavy rain is still expected, particularly along the Sunshine Coast, the Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) says.
- Commuter train delays on Friday of up to 120 minutes expected in the region
- BOM had earlier released warnings for four severe storm cells in south-east Queensland
- 80mm falling in one hour in some places, causing “significant flash flooding risk”
Earlier on Friday afternoon, BOM had said extremely heavy rain could cause significant flash flooding and “a risk to life”.
A BOM warning issued at 8:04pm (AEST) on Friday said heavy rain was continuing in parts of the Sunshine Coast council area.
It said that at 7:55pm the severe thunderstorms were detected near Maroochydore and Caloundra and continue to move east.
BOM said the storms would affect waters off Caloundra and Maroochydore by 8:30pm.
BOM said the heavy rainfall might lead to flash flooding, with 80mm of rain falling in an hour at Conondale and 77mm in an hour between Maroochydore and Caloundra.
Meteorologist Sam Campbell said the storms had been “very dangerous — in fact life-threatening storms around parts of Brisbane”.
“There is significant flash flooding risk and a risk to life with that storm at that moment, so people in that affected area need to take significant caution.”
Mr Campbell said the BOM expected the storms to move out to the Coral Sea over the next couple of hours.
“But we could still see severe storms as we go into the evening and possibly even heavy falls continuing into tomorrow morning,” he said.
“Further showers and storms are expected through large parts of the south-east quarter of the state, including up into the central parts of Queensland.”
Mr Campbell said there was again the threat of a severe storm around parts of south-east Queensland during Saturday morning and possibly into the afternoon.
He said there had been very heavy rainfall around the south-east.
“At times getting up to 105 millimetres in one hour was the top fall we saw in south-east Queensland,” he said.
“We also observed three-centimetre hail around the Oakey area and a number of locations that have seen falls in the 80 to 100 millimetre range.”
The BOM had earlier released warnings for four severe storm cells, spanning from Dalby in the west, to south of Boonah and north to Caboolture.
Mr Campbell earlier said the storms might merge together “into a quite significant long-lived system that could produce heavy rainfall for some rain for a number of hours to come, even into tomorrow morning”.
“It is unusual to see such a large area of storms and such heavy rainfall over such a large area too,” he said.
He said earlier in the afternoon that Samford, north-west of Brisbane, had copped 83 millimetres in an hour.
Mulgowie in the Lockyer Valley region had recorded 62 millimetres of rain in 30 minutes, while 85mm was recorded in 60 minutes at Kobble Creek, south of Dayboro.
Queensland Rail said all train lines in the region in both directions would be delayed up to 120 minutes due to the severe weather conditions.
Brisbane Airport said passengers could expect flight delays due to the storms and to check with their airline.
Commuters with a delayed train at Roma Street Station in Brisbane’s CBD during the severe storms. (ABC News: Hailey Renault)
Queensland Fire and Emergency Services said people should:
- Move your car under cover or away from trees
- Secure loose outdoor items
- Never drive, walk or ride through flood waters. If it’s flooded, forget it
- Seek shelter, preferably indoors and never under trees
- Avoid using the telephone during a thunderstorm
- Beware of fallen trees and powerlines
For emergency assistance contact the SES on 132 500.
BOM storm tracking map for south-east Queensland, Friday March 15, 2019.
(Supplied: Bureau of Meteorology)