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Queensland lashed in spectacular series of storms

Lightning strike from Saturday's storm at Willowbank.
Lightning strike from Saturday's storm at Willowbank. Phil Rettke Photography

THE biggest hail stones meteorologists had ever seen lashed south east Queensland on Sunday in the final episode of a spectacular series of storms.

Towns on the Ipswich outskirts and south of the Sunshine Coast copped some of the biggest hail stones with areas east of Ipswich recording 6cm hail while Caboolture reported 3cm hail stones.

But Bureau of Meteorology forecaster Tony Auden said the biggest hail stones he had ever heard of - tennis ball size - landed on the Brisbane suburb Toowong at 6pm on Sunday.

Brisbane bore the brunt of the successive storms over the weekend with flash flooding and pockets of heavy hail in the suburbs.

Mr Auden explained the very active storm system was a combination of winds, instability and merging weather fronts.

"We probably get it every few years," he said.

"It shows what can happen and there is every chance we will get this outbreak again but it definitely was a top-end event.

"We do expect a peak (in storm activity) in November or December."

Fallen trees, leaking roofs and localised flooding resulted in 650 requests for State Emergency Service assistance in less than 24 hours.

Community Safety Minister Jack Dempsey said SES teams had completed 200 jobs by midday on Monday.

"During the storm activity more than 100,000 lightning strikes were recorded along with heavy rain, hail and wind gusts of up to 90km/hr," Mr Dempsey said. "More than 100,000 homes and businesses had powered restored over the weekend and I thank Energex for their great work."

The weather bureau drew criticism after the storm about delayed storm warnings in the lead up to the wild weather.

While BOM regional director Rob Webb confirmed the bureau would review its response to the storms - as is normal protocol - he said his team worked "really hard to inform the community".

Mr Webb said forecasters did various media interviews following the release of a severe weather alert last Thursday.

He said Saturday's storm did move on forecasters earlier than they expected.

Topics:  hail, storms, weather


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