Jennifer Connelly

Gladstone basks in sunshine as storms threaten south-east

WHILE Gladstone is set for a warm and sunny weekend, dangerous supercell storms, capable of producing heavy rain, large hail and dangerous winds, loom as a threat in south-east Queensland.

Weather Channel senior meteorologist Tom Saunders has warned Australia's east coast could be in for a stormy weekend  with supercell thunderstorms likely to produce severe weather.

"Supercell thunderstorms are likely across north-east New South Wales and south-east Queensland this weekend and have the potential to cause flash flooding, damaging winds and large hail," Mr  Saunders said.

"Supercells are the most dangerous type of storm and develop where wind shear is present through a very unstable atmosphere.

"The wind shear leads to rotation within the storm and a longer lifespan. They often cause very heavy rain and flash flooding, large hail, damaging winds gusts and occasionally tornadoes.

"The main inhibitors for storm development will be cloud through the morning, which prevents air rising from the surface and onshore winds which keep temperatures down and reduce instability.

"For Brisbane, storm potential on Saturday depends on the timing of a cool, south-easterly change. If the change arrives too early in the day then storms are less likely.

"There is a greater chance of storms on Sunday, with northerly winds likely for the majority of the day."

Mr Saunders said more intense thunderstorms this weekend have the potential to cause about 50mm of rain but most of north-east New South Wales and south-east Queensland should receive at least 20mm.

In Gladstone, Saturday is expected to be sunny with a top of 30 degrees, while on Sunday the forecast is for a mostly sunny day and a top of 30.

Showers are expected on Monday and Tuesday.



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