Australia’s ‘biggest-ever’ hailstones shatter windscreens and pierce holes in roofs

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Huge hailstones measuring 16 cm in diameter have broken windows, windscreens and solar panels in parts of north-east Australia.

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Locals have been urged to exercise caution as the storm is expected to continue today.

The Bureau of Meteorology said Tuesday’s hail “seems” to have broken the Australian record of 14cm.


State-run agency forecaster Shane Kennedy said: “We’ve seen some reassuring images of hailstorms against a tape measure of 16cm.

“The Australian record was sitting around the 14cm mark. Looks like this is the Australian record for hailstorms.

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During a severe storm – about 620 miles (1,000 km) north of Brisbane – huge snowpacks fell at Yaleborough and Bloomsbury in the Mackay region of Queensland.

Hails of that size have a terminal velocity of more than 62mph (100km) per hour – Mr Kennedy said.

Yaleborough resident Samantha Caporn posted a picture of three big hailstones taken by her husband John on social media.

Photos of dozens of large hailstones, shattered glass and broken solar panels have been posted on the Higgins Storm Chasing page on Facebook.

A video posted to the group showed hail on the roof of a house in Yalboru. The resident films where a hailstone pierced the corrugated metal roof in part of the property.

The Facebook group’s organizer wrote in a post: “Please read this and take it very seriously!

“Tomorrow (Wednesday) thunderstorms forecast from Bowen to Gladsrone and in all areas between and to the east indicate the possibility of huge hailstones of 10 – 16 cm in size!

“It is only life threatening if you are hit by one of these very dangerous storms and are not in a safe place to handle it.”

Christopher Harvey, who was driving during the hailstorm, told ABC News that hail passed through both his front and rear windows and he had to be pulled up to safety.

He said: “It hit my roof, pushed my glasses holder down, there was a lot of damage.”

Strong thunderstorm warnings remain in place for parts of Queensland, with the Bureau of Meteorology predicting “destructive winds, massive hail and heavy rain”.


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