On the 27 November 2014, Brisbane was struck by one of its worst ever hailstorms. The storm caused severe damage to many buildings and cars in the city, and even caused serious injury to approximately 40 people.

Wind speeds of 141 km/h (88mph) were recorded with multiple reports of large destructive hail in the city and the surrounding suburbs.

Supercell storm approaching Brisbane city during peak hour.

What caused this destructive storm?

What seemed like a typical muggy summers day in Queensland quickly changed, as warm humid air over South East Queensland was hit by a cooler southerly change causing instability. Multiple cells formed near the New South Wales border and tracked northwards, with one storm intensifying into a strong supercell. While supercell storms are not uncommon for Queensland, it was rare for one to strike the central parts of Brisbane.

The storm continued to track north, threatening suburbs in the Moreton Bay region. It passed near Redcliffe and North Lakes around 30 to 40 minutes after impacting the city, before finally shifting out to sea not long before dusk.

Supercell storm causes flash flooding in Brisbane CBD.

The Aftermath

To make matters worse, the supercell storm struck Brisbane during peak hour. Although the storm was of short duration (lasting just half an hour), it didn’t lack in destruction. Reports of giant hail were widespread throughout the city. A senior forecaster at the Bureau of Meteorology described the storm as the worst in a decade. More than 100,000 homes lost power supply, 642 power-lines were brought down, around 2,000 homes experienced roof damaged caused by hail and 39 people were injured with 12 treated at hospitals. A number of planes were flipped at Archerfield Airport, and more than 12 schools were closed following the storm. Brisbane City Council and State Government buildings suffered $50 million worth of damage.

It was estimated that the short storm caused $1.1 billion worth of damage. Many drivers were caught unaware and unable to escape the hail. According to the Insurance Council of Australia 100,000 insurance claims were lodged with almost two thirds for vehicles. It was believed that hail-damaged cars were undergoing repairs 18 months after the supercell hit!

Record hail stones hit catch Brisbane residents off guard.

The aftermath of Brisbane’s supercell.

The estimated insurance recovery bill is over $1 billion

With the current weather patterns of increasing temperatures, heavy rain, large hail, and flash flooding, it’s imperative to protect your livelihood. Just like homes and cars, businesses need insurance too. If our business had to come to a halt due to storm damage it can affect you, your staff, customers and suppliers.

Seeking Help

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