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Severe Storms - In My Backyard?

There are several severe storms in Australia each year. Many of these storms can go unreported and others can cause extensive damage.

Below are just some stories from the severe storms that have recently caused major damage.

Hail Storm, Canberra – 27 February 2007

Canberra carpark covered in hail Canberra carpark covered in hail
Canberra carpark covered in hail

At 9pm on the 27th of February 2007, the Bureau of Meteorology issued a severe storm warning for the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) region. There was an electrical storm for a few hours prior to the warning.

Later that night, Canberra received some rain, but it was mostly hail.

Hailstones, approximately 2 centimetres in diameter blanketed the city causing flooding of streets and homes. The strong gusty winds stripped green leaves off trees and the following day the damage was more apparent.

Roads were closed due to the damage caused and small bulldozers were called in to clear away the piles of hail that continued to line the streets over the next 2 days.

Thunderstorm, Gracemere and Rockhampton - 12 February 2007

On the 12th of February 2007, supercell thunderstorms moved through the Gracemere and Rockhampton areas of Queensland. The storm produced hail stones the size of a golf ball and caused a lot of damage to homes, cars and buildings.

Many large trees were brought down from the strong wind gusts which caused traffic chaos. Hail up to 3 centimetres in diameter was also reported just west of Ipswich on the same day.

Darwin, Northern Territory – 27th and 28th February 2005

On February 27th a series of storm cells formed into a line which moved though Darwin city in the evening. More than 1,000 homes lost power due to surges from lightning strikes or trees and falling branches touching powerlines.

A line of storms also crossed the Darwin area in the early evening of the 28th. A large steel tank (about 15 metres high and 13 metres in diameter), that was under construction at East Arm Wharf (in southern Darwin), partially collapsed due to the wind gusts from the storm.

Hail Storm, Sydney – 14 April 1999

On the night of 14 April 1999, a severe hail storm hit Sydney causing damage to homes and cars. Emergency Services from ACT and Victoria came to assist the NSW emergency services as residents called 000 for assistance. The damages were estimated at being over a billion dollars.


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