SEQ braces for golf ball-sized hailstones as mercury rises beyond 40 degrees Celsius

SEQ braces for golf ball-sized hailstones as mercury rises beyond 40 degrees Celsius

Golf ball-sized hail and damaging winds strong enough to topple large trees and power lines could come within hours, as a heatwave sweeps through the state with temperatures soaring above 40 degrees Celsius.

Kimba Wong, from the Met Office, said the early morning forecast indicated that several severe weather warnings would be issued throughout the day.

“The heat expected today is definitely one of the contributing factors because the hot weather is unstable and really helps spark thunderstorms,” ​​Ms Wong said.

Supercell storms are expected to hit Brisbane and south-east Queensland from 11am today. Photo: Asif

“The trough currently traveling across the eastern highlands and eastern parts of the state is helping to stimulate activity that is expected to continue around the cities for the rest of the week before moving north, forced by northerly winds.”

The Sunshine State was extremely hot for the first half of the day, with temperatures exceeding 40 degrees Celsius by noon.

Windorah in the Channel Country was the hottest place in Queensland, with a temperature of 42.1C at 11.45am, narrowly beating Urandangi in the northwest which reached 42C at 11.40am.

The coldest part of the state, the Darling Downs and Granite Belt, is also hit by brutal ‘hotspots’ and sticky northerly winds with temperatures reaching 38.5C and Goniwindi hitting 35.7C after 12pm.

The temperature in Rome is expected to exceed the 40°C mark just after noon while in Gainda in the Wide Bay Burnett region, the temperature will reach 38°C.

In the south-east, Brisbane reached 31.8°C by 12pm, Gold Coast 29.1°C, Canungra 33.5°C, Sunshine Coast Airport 30.1°C and Tewantin 33.6°C.

With hot conditions supported by strong and damaging winds, the re-ignition of former fire areas is something the office is looking into, according to Ms. Wong.

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“Dry lightning is not an unlikely possibility, but rain is expected to hit the ground, so hopefully that means the resumption of those fires is not the main concern.

“Lightning can strike outside the main basin, though, which is common, so we will keep an eye on that.”

The forecast for Thursday looks equally dire. Photo: Supplied

The temperature in the western suburbs of Ipswich and Brisbane is expected to reach 37C today while the city will reach 32C.

“There are two main opposing air masses, hot and cold, colliding together which creates really interesting conditions and then the potential for severe thunderstorms and potential weather warnings,” Ms Wong said.

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Ideal conditions for wild storms

The perfect combination of summer storms is being stimulated by “heatwave-like winds” and humid air, with southeast Queensland in the firing line from Wednesday.

The Bureau of Meteorology’s Patch Clapp said potential thunderstorms were heading towards Brisbane, the Gold Coast and the Sunshine Coast from inland.

“Potential storms are expected across much of south-east Queensland in the coming days,” he said.

“These storms will likely bring large hail, damaging winds and, later in their cycle, rain.

“The trough is currently moving across inland Queensland and will head up the coast Tuesday night into Wednesday, and that’s when we can expect to see the expected storm activity.”

The office has issued a strong wind warning for the Sunshine Coast, where wind speeds are expected to reach 55 km/h.

“The heat and humidity around that hotspot that’s more centrally located right now is the perfect combination, and we’re seeing things coming together, and that’s where the potential for a new storm comes together,” Clapp said.

This comes as an intense heatwave sweeps central Queensland, with temperatures reaching 43 degrees Celsius in some parts.

The Northern Goldfields, Upper Flinders, Central Highlands, Coalfields, Central West, Channel Country, Wide Bay, Burnett and South East Coast Office has issued a heatwave warning.

A brutal heatwave is sweeping much of central Queensland. Image: Met Office

The warning remains in place until Friday, with locations including Birdsville, Gympie, Tarom and Windorah likely to be affected.

In Brisbane, the bureau expects the maximum temperature to reach 31 degrees Celsius with the possibility of light rain on Wednesday, before thunderstorms and flash floods on Thursday.

On the Gold Coast, maximum temperatures are expected to reach 30C on Thursday with strong northerly winds and rain of up to 10mm.

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