Severe Storm

Severe Storm

Severe Storm

A severe thunderstorm is defined by the Bureau of Meteorology as one which produces hail with a diameter of 2 cm or more; or wind gusts of 90 km per hour or greater; or flash floods; or tornadoes; or any combination of these. Severe storms can range from an isolated thunderstorm to a widespread intense low pressure system.

Thunderstorms occur when humid air near the ground is lifted by converging surface winds and rises quickly in an unstable atmosphere and typically do not last long. In Australia there are three recognised types of thunderstorms: single-cell thunderstorms which are of limited size and lifespan and can produce short bursts of severe weather; multi-cell thunderstorms which are more persistent and have a greater impact; and super-cell thunderstorms which are even more persistent with a constant rotating updraft known as a mesocyclone.

All thunderstorms will exhibit some lightning, atmospheric discharge of electricity, and result in thunder. Mature storms will produce storm wind gusts which are of speeds of 90 km per hour or more, with peak winds exceeding 160 km per hour in some storms. 

Image: Storm front, Sydney 2008, Jonny Ross (Flickr)

Recent Disasters in this Category

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Name Category Location Date
Severe Storm Severe Storm – Brisbane 2014 Severe Storm Queensland 27/11/2014 view resource
Severe Storm Severe Storm - Perth and Southern Western Australia 2012 Severe Storm Western Australia 07/06/2012 view resource
Severe Storm Severe Storm - Melbourne, December 2011 Severe Storm Victoria 25/12/2011 view resource
Severe Storm Severe Storm - Melbourne, September 2011 Severe Storm Victoria 28/09/2011 view resource
Severe Storm Severe Storm - Melbourne, February 2011 Severe Storm Victoria 04/02/2011 view resource
Severe Storm Severe Storm - Perth 2010 Severe Storm Western Australia 22/03/2010 view resource
Severe Storm Severe Storm - Melbourne, 2010 Severe Storm Victoria 06/03/2010 view resource
Severe Storm Severe Storm - South-East Queensland 2008 Severe Storm Queensland 16/11/2008 view resource
Severe Storm Severe Storm - Southern States Windstorms 2008 Severe Storm Tasmania, South Australia, Victoria 02/04/2008 view resource
Severe Storm Severe Storm - South-East Queensland and Northern New South Wales 2007 Severe Storm Queensland 07/10/2007 view resource
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Related Events

(48 entries)
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Research

(2 entries)
Title Author Date Format Type
A Document Case studies of extreme events: East Coast Lows and the Newcastle/Central Coast Pasha bulka storm Verdon-Kidd DC, Kiem AS, Willgoose G, et al 2010 link Case Studies view resource
A Document Extreme Weather, Climate and Preparedness in the American Mind Leiserowitz A, Maibach E, Roser-Renouf C, et al 2012 link Reports view resource