Giant hailstones in excess of 16 centimetres were observed in Yalboroo, north of Mackay in Central Queensland, Australia, on Tuesday. The hailstones terrified people and broke windscreens of cars.
Severe thunderstorms developed across parts of eastern Queensland yesterday afternoon and evening with some storms bringing giant hail.
“This looks to be a new Australian record once confirmed, beating the previous hail record set last year. Until yesterday, the record for largest hailstone observed in Australia was 14 centimetres. This was set during severe thunderstorms in south-east Queensland on 31 October 2020,” says Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology (BOM).
Monstrous hailstones measuring 16cm in diameter fell to the ground in central Queensland on Tuesday afternoon, likely setting a new Australian record for hail size.
More at https://t.co/3mUg8dUNmd
Image: Hail at Yalboroo by @samyj_412 on Instagram pic.twitter.com/xC9iYpKPuU
— Weatherzone (@weatherzone) October 19, 2021
BOM explains what caused this giant hail to form.
“Hail needs exactly the right conditions to form, and giant hail needs even more, varied factors to come together. This is why giant hail is quite rare. Yesterday, central Queensland had a combination of very cold, dry air in the upper levels and warm, moist unstable air at the surface. Once these thunderstorms developed, the atmosphere was extremely unstable, which allowed hail to continue growing before it became too heavy and gravity finally took over, bringing the hail to the ground.”