Power outages peak near 26,000 after severe storms sweep SEQ7th December 2020
Images from Woodford and Caboolture showed tree branches across roads, while business owners described rain coming under their front doors. Energex reported a peak of about 25,500 customers without power across the south-east – largely in Brisbane’s north and on the Sunshine Coast – before 6pm.
Kandanga, south of Gympie, recorded 35 millimetres of rain in a 15-minute period before 5pm, the bureau said. Some sites in the Caboolture area received more than 80 millimetres since 9am.
After reaching a high of 33.6 degrees about 12.30pm, Brisbane’s temperature dropped to 27 degrees from 2pm as rain began to fall. By 7pm, only the city’s northern suburbs had managed rain totals beyond single digits.
The storm warnings came after almost two weeks of heatwave conditions across the state during which temperatures hit the mid-40s in many parts of the west and interior, and came close to the 40-degree mark in the south-east.
Such conditions, paired with gusty winds and dry vegetation, have driven very high and severe fire-danger ratings for parts of the state’s south, east coast and central interior, as firefighters continue to battle blazes threatening populated areas of Fraser Island.
Mr Thompson said a cold change that’s expected to move up the Queensland coast from late on Tuesday would moderate the fire-danger and heatwave conditions ahead of the arrival of “more active” tropical moisture.
“This means that increased rainfall becomes a risk from next week, with the tropical weather and moisture moving into the Queensland region,” he said.
Weatherzone meteorologist Ben Domensino said the temperature in Brisbane dropped to just 25.8 degrees overnight into Monday morning, marking the highest December minimum since 2005.
This was the result of a mass of warm air holding temperatures about 5 degrees above average.
The city was expected to reach a top of 34 degrees on Monday and Tuesday, with overnight temperatures dropping only 10 degrees before daytime maximums return to the mid- to high-20s from Wednesday.
Much of the state was forecast to experience similar or cooler conditions, with showers possible into the weekend.
A looming La Nina event has so far failed to play out as expected, with record-high temperatures and low rainfall in November. However, the country’s largest general insurer, IAG, has warned of “some of the strongest wet signals” in about 10 years.
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Matt Dennien is a reporter with Brisbane Times.