Hail the size of a cricket ball has been reported north of Brisbane as dangerous thunderstorms move across south-east Queensland.
However, the storms are unlikely to bring much rain or relief for bushfire-ravaged parts of the state.
Besides devastating fires that have killed at least 4 and burned more than 1.1 million hectares of land in Australia, huge hail destroyed cars, crops and infrastructures across south-east Queensland.
OMG! This hail storm is crazy! Just look below:
The hail storm comes as an emergency warning was issued for a large out of control bushfire north of Toowoomba with residents told to evacuate.
A severe warning for giant hailstones and destructive winds was issued from Gympie to south of Brisbane.
Some of the hail that fell in the Glasshouse Mountains this afternoon.— ABC Brisbane (@abcbrisbane) November 17, 2019
📷: Edwin Mens pic.twitter.com/5dhdZajjJt
The most dangerous storm was on the Sunshine Coast, where the cricket ball-sized hail was observed.
A supercell capable of giant hail and damaging winds has developed just east of Woodford. It is likely to affect the southern Sunshine Coast. Other severe storms are possible. Warnings: https://t.co/FBmpsInT9o pic.twitter.com/LNLA016dLB— Bureau of Meteorology, Queensland (@BOM_Qld) November 17, 2019
Hoff said no storms were expected in the Darling Downs area or the Scenic Rim, where concerning bushfires were continuing to burn.
Severe #QldStorm warnings have now been cancelled, with some wild conditions reported at #SunshineCoast #GoldCoast and #WideBay. Hail up to 6cm and multiple reports of damage. Scattered falls of 10-20mm and isolated falls up to 39mm. Check obs near you: https://t.co/Zinzl8KS8z pic.twitter.com/YGi2dgq0SB— Bureau of Meteorology, Queensland (@BOM_Qld) November 17, 2019
But strong winds had been detected with gusts of 57km/h (35.1mph) recorded at Dalby and 50km/h (31.4mph) at Stanthorpe.
Hail pelts Queensland as severe storm sweeps state https://t.co/x2Uyp5HVWX— Decider Ring (@SanicilaS16) November 17, 2019
Out of nowhere
There would be no widespread significant rainfall in areas affected by the thunderstorm but up to 35mm could fall on the Sunshine Coast, Hoff said.
This is the monster storm that just dumped all that hail on the Sunshine Coast 😱 ⛈— ABC Brisbane (@abcbrisbane) November 17, 2019
📸: Josh Whiting Photos pic.twitter.com/IVcVnuJyzN
Most areas would record just 5mm to 15mm.
Meanwhile, Queensland Is Burning Out-Of-Control
Not far away residents west of Brisbane in the Ravensbourne area were being told to evacuate as a large out of control bushfire bore down.
An emergency warning had been issued for the blaze, which was part of the Pechey fire responsible for blackening 3,400 hectares in the past five days.
Ravensbourne residents have again been ordered to evacuate after fire jumped containment lines late this afternoon. It comes after a destructive night battling blazes, with as many as six homes believed to have been lost near Murwillumbah. @G_Chumbley #qldfires #7NEWS pic.twitter.com/8t23ziKiih— 7NEWS Brisbane (@7NewsBrisbane) November 17, 2019
The local mayor, Paul Antonio, said the situation had deteriorated drastically despite a large air tanker, which dumps 15,000 litres in one go, joining the fight.
“This is a very difficult situation … The wind [at my farm] is strong enough to rock my car,” he said on Sunday. “It’s looking very bleak.”
the sun is an amazing colour right now, after a storm and from all the fires around our state.. I hold my camera with my feet. #weather #sun #storm #brisbane #longman #nature #bnestorm #abcbrisbane #abcnews #7news #9news #ThePhotoHour #fires https://t.co/jadQujmsMi pic.twitter.com/4jD3Iqxpbt— trish (@footsiephotos) November 17, 2019
The fire, which was advancing to the north, east and south-east, extended along Perseverance Dam Road, Mount Jockey Road, Horrex Road, Garvey Road, Purtill Road and McQuillan Road.
Antonio said 200 firefighters and 15 aircraft were battling the blaze, along a 38km front.
More Than 140 Fires Burning In NSW and QLD
Across the state, 85 fires were burning but those of most concern were the ones at Pechey, north of Toowoomba, and Moreton Island off Brisbane along with those in the Scenic Rim at Mt Barney, Clumber and Tarome.
The state Government has announced an initial two-hundred-and-twenty thousand-dollar recovery package, for our fire ravaged regions. But locals are asking, is it enough? @RuthWW #9News pic.twitter.com/C5NHjBvDhG— Nine News Sydney (@9NewsSyd) November 17, 2019
Meanwhile, more than 1,500 firefighters were battling blazes from the outskirts of Sydney right up to the Queensland border on Sunday. Firefighters were “doing their best to try and secure as much as they can ahead of those worsening conditions,” the NSW Rural Fire Service commissioner, Shane Fitzsimmons, said.
On Sunday afternoon there were 56 fires across the state, more than half of which were uncontained, the RFS said.
Fire danger ratings were severe in the far north coast, New England, the northern slopes and north-western regions, and very high in the greater Sydney, greater Hunter, central ranges and north coast regions. [ABC, Guardian]