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FACTORS EFFECTING THE NUMBER OF CONFIRMED TORNADOES IN SE QLD

22-03-2006 : This section is under construction and in the coming months will feature much more information on all forms of severe weather

For information on recent severe storms in SE QLD, see the Recent Events section

It is a common myth held by many Australians that Australia does not get tornadoes, or that we do not Damaged caused by a Tornado in western Brisbane on November 4, 1973get violent tornadoes like the US does.  A lot of people who see tornadoes generally aren't sure they're looking at, or if they do they don't report it under the belief that no one would be interested in it anyway.  There are many cases where people have been shown photos of violent tornadoes in SE QLD yet still refuse to believe that they are exactly the same type of tornado that the US has.  What many people fail to realise, is that 1% of all tornadoes are actually "violent," more then half of all tornadoes are weak - this includes tornadoes in the US! However violent tornadoes account for 67% of all tornado related deaths, which is why the Australian media generally only reports US tornadoes when they are violent, as they cause most of the deaths.  It's a scary statistic that 1% of all tornadoes cause 67% of all tornado related deaths!

There have been over 40 tornado related deaths in Australia in the last 100 years


November 4, 1973 - Courtesy of Channel 7 October 29, 2000 - Courtesy of Channel 7 March, 1985 - Courtesy of Channel 7 October 29, 2000 - Courtesy of Channel 7 October 10, 1983 - Courtesy of Channel 7

On average $50 million dollars in damage is caused by severe thunderstorms in SE QLD every year.  The Bureau of Meterology sometimes surveys damaged caused by severe thunderstorms, and if the damage appears to be caused by a tornado, then the event will be dubbed tornadic.  However, they cannot (due to several reasons - insufficient staff for one) always survey the damage from every storm.  So it is quite possible that damaged that is likely to have been caused by a tornado goes undoccumented.

With the exception of the major population centres (Brisbane, Ispwich, Toowoomba and the coastal strips south of Brisbane to the border, and north of Brisbane to Noosa) SE QLD is generally sparesly populated, with up to 50-100km's between towns in northern and western parts, and in most cases the towns that are there are small.  So it is quite easy for a thunderstorm to produce a tornado which goes unseen, or through an unpopulated area and does not cause any damage to property.

Due to the high moisture levels in SE QLD on most storm days (Dew Points of 22-24C are common in coastal parts), High Precipitation (HP) storms are common.  Therefore tornadoes are often wrapped in rain.


The Bucca F4 Tornado
November 29, 1992

The strongest tornado
ever officially recorded
in Australia
.

Click here for a detailed report on this tornado and other tornadoes on this day. (EDIT - Unfortunately, the website that this report is on is out of action for a few months!)
Bucca F4 TornadoBucca F4 TornadoBucca F4 TornadoBucca F4 TornadoBucca F4 Tornado

June 19, 1996 - Taken by Damien Howes June 19, 1996 - Taken by Damien Howes June 19, 1996 - Taken by Damien Howes June 19, 1996 - Taken by Damien Howes June 19, 1996 - Taken by Damien Howes June 19, 1996 - Taken by Damien Howes June 19, 1996 - Taken by Damien Howes June 19, 1996 - Taken by Damien Howes
June 19, 1996 - Taken by Damien HowesJune 19, 1996 - Taken by Damien HowesJune 19, 1996 - Taken by Damien Howes
A waterspout off the NE NSW coast
June 19, 1996




Photographed by Brisbane Storm Chaser Damien Howes.

SIGNIFICANT KNOWN TORNADOES IN BRISBANE AND SE QLD

October 13, 1998 - Two tornadoes reported on this day.  The first one at Warwick (approximately 130km's SW of Brisbane) early in the afternoon, and later an F1 Tornado in the Brisbane CBD.  The end result was over $35 million in damages.

November 4, 1994 - A supercell with cloudtops to 17km moved through Kin Kin (approximately 130km's north of Brisbane) producing a tornado and large Hail.

November 29, 1992 - Two violent tornadoes in SE QLD in one day.  An F3 tornado struck Oakhurst (approximately 220km's north of Brisbane) and surrounding areas early in the afternoon.  Later in the afternoon an F4 tornado tore through the Bucca and Bullyard areas, west of Bundaburg (approximately 300km's north of Brisbane), levelling 3 homes and unroofing many others.  The Bucca F4 is regarded as the strongest tornado to have ever been officially recorded in Australia. Photos of this tornado can be seen on this page above, or by clicking here (use the next/previous links to scroll through the series of 5 photos).

December 24, 1989 - A MASSIVE supercell (with cloud tops as high as 77 000 feet!!!) tore through Brisbane and SE parts of SE QLD, producing several tornadoes along it's path.  A combination of straight line winds and a tornado unroofed 500 houses, damaged 1000 and left 12 structually unsafe in the city of Redcliffe (approximately 25km's north of Brisbane). A photo of the squall line the supercell was associatied with can be found here

March 9, 1986 - A tornado at Daisy Hill (a subrub of Brisbane) caused severe damage.

November 4, 1973 - Australia's most damaging tornado.  The tornado roared through the western and southern suburbs of Brisbane on an amazing 51km journey1400 buildings were badly damaged or destroyed leaving a damage bill of several million dollars (73 $'s). Video captures of the damaged casued by this tornado can be seen above on this page or by clicking here (use the next/previous links to scroll through the series).

August 14, 1971 - Possibly Australia's deadliest tornado at Kin Kin (approximately 130km's north of Brisbane), killing 3 people. The tornado and cricket ball sized hail associated with the storm left a damage bill of over $100 000 (1971 $'s). 

December 7, 1962 - Small crafts in the Birsbane River were sunk by a waterspout. Extensive wind damage also occured in suburbs throughout Brisbane. 

September 22, 1932 - A strong tornado tore through Gympie (approximately 150km's north of Brisbane) causing extensive damage.



SIGNIFICANT HAILSTORMS IN BRISBANE AND SE QLD

November 27, 2005 - 4-5cm hail fell at Warrill View, 4cm at Jindalee, golf ball size at Mango Hill,Scarborough and Nannango and 5cm at Redcliffe.

October 13, 2005 - Hail larger than golf ball size fell at Gatton. Large hail also fell at Laidley and vegetable crops were destroyed in the Lockyer Valley. Golf ball size hail was reported from Dalby and also from Roma where a car yard suffered damage. Extensive damage occurred to stone fruit orchards in the Stanthorpe/Pozieres area due to a prolonged fall of hail that collapsed hail nets onto fruit trees causing damage to a quarter of the crop, leaving a damage bill estimated to be over 20 million dollars. Near golf ball size hail was also reported from Ban Ban Springs (SE of Gayndah).

October 13, 2005 - Tennis ball size hail fell in Laidley and marble to golf ball size hail fell in Gatton. Almost 500 homes were damaged. Another storm produced hail in large quantitites, some stones as large as tennis balls, at a property 74km's NE of Roma. A large amount of hail was also reported from a property 45km's SW of Roma.

October 12, 2005 - Cricket ball size hail fell in the Gold Coast suburbs of Pacific Pines, Oxenford and Helensvale. Over 2000 cars were damaged, many with broken windows. Roofs were also damaged.

May 19, 2005 - A localised but intense thunderstorm produced large quantities of hail through the western and northern suburbs of Brisbane with hail as deep as 15cm's across roads in places. Heavy rain associated with the hail led to widespread flash flooding and inundation of some properties.

March 26, 2005 - Tennis ball size hail fell at Ganalda, between Gympie and Tiaro in the Wide Bay and Burnett. Cricket ball size hail also fell from the same storm at Glenwood where 18 homes suffered roof and window damage. Golf to cricket ball size hail also fell at Deception Bay, Narangba and Burpengary from another storm where homes and cars were also damaged. 2-3cm and the occasional golf ball sized stone also fell in the Amberley area.

November 9, 2004 - Golf ball size hail was reported from the Brisbane suburbs of Salisbury and Marooka. There was also an unconfirmed report of orange sized hail from the Pine Rivers shire.

November 9, 2004 - Golf ball size hail was reported from the Brisbane suburbs of Salisbury and Marooka. There was also an unconfirmed report of orange sized hail from the Pine Rivers shire.

November 8, 2004 - Golf ball size hail fell from a supercell thunderstorm at Boonah with considerable damage done. Almost every window was smashed at the local school.

January 28, 2004 - Cricket ball size hail was reported from near Caloundra. Golf ball size hail was also reported from Kawana Waters.

December 9, 2003 - Hail larger than cricket balls was reported from several sources in Gladstone. 120 homes were damaged and car yards were seriously effected.

December 6, 2003 - Hail to cricket ball size (7cm) was reported near Boompa (SE of Biggenden). Mango and avocado crops were damaged at Childers.

October 26, 2003 - Golf to cricket ball sized hail fell on the Gold Coast with the worst affected areas being Currumbin, Palm Beach, and Coolangatta. Many cars and 400 homes were damaged and many birds and animals at the Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary were killed. A Qantas jet was damaged and forced to land shortly after taking off into the hailstorm. Another storm produced hail up to golf ball size from the Samford/Nebo area through to Redcliffe on the coast. Other storms produced hail to golf ball size at Warwick and to 5cm at Yarraman.

October 25, 2003 - Tennis ball sized hail smashed car windscreens at Mapleton and Witta. Golf ball to mandarin sized hail reported from the Maleny area. A supercell thunderstorm tracked through the Coominya, Lake Wivenhoe and Esk areas (Brisbane Valley) where hail up to cricket ball size destroyed house roofs, smashed windscreens, punctured rainwater tanks and stripped trees. Another storm furthern north in the Wide Bay and Burnett district produced very large hail, brought trees down across the road between Proston and Murgon and destroyed six hectares of zucchinis near Cloyna.

October 24, 2003 - Hail to tennis ball size reported from the Kalbar area. Golf ball hail was also reported from Ipswich.

December 25, 2002 - Hail as large as cricket balls smashed car windows on the Warrego Highway. Tennis ball sized hail broke so many roofs at Helidon, east of Toowoomba, that the SES ran out of tarpaulins. At Esk a watermelon crop worth $50,000 was destroyed by hail.

May 17, 2001 - Hail 5cm in diameter fell at Ipswich and drifts of small hail up to 25cm deep were reported 10km south of Amberley.

Janauary 18, 2001 - Tennis ball sized hail fell at Woody point in the northern subursb of Brisbane at 4am in the morning smashing hundreds of windows.

April 10, 1998 - Golf to tennis ball sized hail fell at Ipswich. Winds to almost 120km/h and a funnel cloud was also reported.

December 18, 1995 - Hail larger than 8cm and winds in excess of 130km/h left a path of destruction in Caboolture, just north of Brisbane.

January 18, 1985 - Cricket ball sized hail driven by winds of up to 185km/h (offical measurement at the Brisbane airport) caused widespread damage throughout Brisbane. A storm which is to date Brisbanes most damaging.

January 10, 1976 - Hailstones up to cricket ball size (official) and unofficially up to 12cm accross. There was even an extreme report of one hailstone weighing 3kg.

February, 1968 - Hail bigger than large apples fell at Boonah.

February 12, 1965 - Hail 8-10 foot deep on the ground after a hailstorm at Guleguba.

November 17, 1962 - Hail to 7.6 cm in diameter at Boonah - crops and buildings damaged and almost all windows broken. Also Hail to 3.7 cm in diameter at Warwick destroying crops, damaging buildings and killing poultry.

December 10, 1961 - Hail to cricket ball size at Esk with the smallest hen egg size and hailstones embedded 2 inches into the ground. Sever damage to roofs at Esk with all foliage removed in imbedded strip a half mile wide. Hail damage to windows cars and roofs at Beaudesert. Hail, 10.2cm in diameter, damaged windows, tanks, roofs and grain crops at Greenmount on the Darling Downs. Hail damage to crops and trees uprooted at Haden-Coalbank.

October 20, 1960 - Large hail at Monto - houses damaged - 10 cows killed, others injured. Fowls killed, trees stripped - hail to 7.5cm in diameter and 102 mm rain recorded.

December 21, 1959 - Cricket ball size hail damaged crops at Gympie.

October 20 1959 - Hail, 7.5cm in diameter at Cooroy caused damage to buildings.

March 17, 1959 - In the Granite Belt (through Ballendean-Dalveen) a 26 mile by 3 mile area was swept by hailstorms with severe damage to crops. Hail stripped sugar cane and damaged fruit trees just south of Maryborough. Cricket ball size hail was reported at Tiaro.

December 12,1958 - Hail 6.3cm in diameter shattered many windows and ruined gardens in Brisbane. 3.8cm hail at Kallangur smashed fibro roofs, destroyed crops and killed poultry.

January 26, 1958 - Cricket ball size hail at Bowenville (near Dalby) breaking windows in most homes and damaging cars.

January 20, 1958 - Halstorm hit Dalma (near Rockhampton) stripping trees, ruining crops, smashing windows and riddling tanks. A mound of hail 75 feet long 30 feet wide and 4 1/2 foot deep was washed into a corner of one property.

January 12, 1958 - Hail remained 4 feet deep 24 hours after a storm at Taboola (near Beaudesert). Hail also smashed windows at Beaudesert and holed tanks at Clarendon.

November 20, 1937 - Ice was packed into a lagoon on property adjoining Gunyerwaraldi near Goondiwindi for four weeks from hail that fell in a severe storm. Most severe storm ever experienced in the district. Hail stripped trees and cut grass to pieces. Storm lasted one hour and 20 minutes, covered 4 or 5 miles of country. Grass and rubbish was on top of hail stones which packed into an area one mile long, 50 feet wide and 10 to 15 feet deep. One man rode a horse over the hail. Hailstones were the size of marbles. Flood waters spread to a mile and a half. It is estimated it would take another two weeks before the ice disappeared.

November 15, 1937 - Hailstorm killed 200 lambs and 6 sheep at Ulupna (near Goondiwindi). One hailstone which fell on the verandah at Retreat weighed one pound.

October 27, 1937 - Widespread hail damage. Poultry killed by hail at Sherwood where 6.5cm hail fell. Iron roofs pierced and dented. Some hail weighed one pound and was the size of jam tins. Suburbs worst hit were Oxley, Darra, Tennyson. Holland Park to Goodna affected Ė Narrow strip of damage from Holland Park to Goodna where gardens battered and roofs and tanks were pierced.  Hail fell for fifteen minutes and was more than a foot deep in some places. Hail the size of golf balls at Moorooka and Holland Park. Heavy or large to very large hail also reported between Ipswich and Oxley and also Darra, Tennyson, Redland Bay, Victoria Point, Nundah, Southport, Goodnah, Hendra, Sherwood, Bethania Junction, Loganlea, Boonah, Milford, Goodna, Beaudesert, Barney View and Woodford.

January 1936 - The largest hail ever seen at Boonah (to the date of the report). One stone was 27.5cm in circumference, several over 20cm. Nine stones weighed 1.75 pounds. Windows broken, hoods of cars pierced. Jennings Mountain "Covered by hail", three to four feet deep at the foot.

February 14, 1935 - Fierce hailstorm at Pomona. Hail the size of hens eggs, some very jagged, some 10cm long . Windows smashed, large holes in car hoods; windscreens smashed. Tanks and roofs pierced.

November 1 OR 2, 1897 - Unprecedented hail storm in Brisbane caused much damage smashing thousands of windows in Eagle Street. One stone was 15cm in diameter and weighed 0.5 kg. Heavy hail killed fowls and injured cattle in Peachester. Hail to 12.5cm in circumference at Brushgrove - jagged and very brittle. Very large hail (the size of cups) at Woodford Dale.

December 3, 1869 - A very severe hailstorm at Grantham with hail as large as cricket balls piercing galvanised iron roofs. Fifty eight holes were made in an iron roof 50 by 18 feet in size and each hole or tear was 7.5cm in diameter. Several horses were severely injured and some dogs killed.

January 1, 18 69 - A very slow moving thunderstorm dumped huge quantities of hail, causing hail drifts of up to 3.5m deep. More than 200 cattle were killed and there was widespread crop damage.

December 18, 1866 - Hail storm in Brisbane with the majority of stones the size of henís eggs. Some measured 6.5cm to 7.5cm in diameter. Windows all over the city were smashed and several zinc and galvanised roofs were perforated.

November 11-13,1863 - Several storms occurred at Maryborough with hail larger than any previously seen. One stone measured 13.75cm in circumference.