High winds sweep through Calliope

By KELLI DOWNEYkelli@gladstoneobserver.com.au

CALLIOPE residents battened down the hatches on Tuesday af- ternoon as huge winds swept through the township.

Wind gusts of up to 64 kilo- metres per hour (kph) battered the township with some residents reporting almost cyclonic condi- tions that snapped off tree branches in a fury.

The gale force winds were re- corded shortly after 3pm, almost simultaneously with a power out- age which lasted until 8pm.

Silverdale Estate resident Ron Smith, who recorded the data, said the highest recording before the loss of power was 64.1 kilo- metres at 3.02pm.

Mr Smith said it was a south- south westerly wind which brought very dry air.

He said despite its strength, the wind had no rotational compo- nents of a mini-tornado or cyclone.

"It came vertically downwards through the storm, hit the ground and shot off sideways,'' Mr Smith said.

"It was not enough to damage but it did bring down tree branches.''

Mr Smith said there had been an initial burst in wind speeds shortly before 2pm, gusts picking up to 50kph.

Rockhampton Weather Office forecaster Mike Griffin said the winds experienced at Calliope were enough to meet gale wind warning criteria.



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