Ipswich weather: Shower and storm cycle set to stay

Keep your brollie handy, the cycle of storms and showers inundating Ipswich in recent weeks is set to continue.

Hot surface temperatures combined with cold air in the upper atmosphere means more wet weather for the city, according to Weatherwatch Queensland manager Anthony Cornelius.

“It’s certainly an unsettled weather pattern and while it’s impossible to say if severe storms will hit Ipswich, what we will see is showers and storms hanging around over the coming weeks,” Mr Cornelius told Ipswich First.

“Spring, summer and early autumn are peak periods for storms and the last couple of weeks have definitely been much wetter across South-East Queensland.

“What we’re seeing is hot and cold air reacting. Hot air rises from the earth’s surface, cools as it rises and condenses into clouds that create showers and storms.

“For storms we need heat and humidity and that weather pattern will continue until a large front comes through and forces the conditions to change.”

Winds of change swept through Mr Cornelius’s life on 18 January, 1985.

His family lived in Brisbane at the time but was visiting Melbourne when a huge storm ripped through the Queensland capital.

The supercell bashed Brisbane with winds of more than 140km/h dumping rain and hail across the city.

The insurance bill for South-East Queensland was $300m, more than $850m in today’s money.

“I remember the storm came through and we had to call family and friends to see how they were and also ask them to check on our house,” Mr Cornelius said.

“It was Brisbane’s worst storm on record – it still is – and I just found it absolutely fascinating, even as a three year old.”

WATCH: Kay McGrath recaps the 1985 supercell storm on TVO Eyewitness News.
More than 30 years on from that career-defining day, Mr Cornelius is a noted researcher, storm chaser and media commentator.

He will visit Ipswich in March to speak about the region’s wild weather and answer questions from a growing band of amateur weather watchers.

“Weather is one of those things where people will always have a general interest,” Mr Cornelius said.

“Going back hundreds of years it was all about people farming the land, but now technology is making weather more accessible.

“Weather is very unique, if you take a photo of a storm it’s a once only event, it won’t be repeated like a photo of a landscape that doesn’t change.

“In terms of data, it’s great to be able to share and access information from home weather stations because it helps us identify trends and look at isolated events.

“At the end of the day it doesn’t matter who we are or what we do, the weather is always going to impact us. That’s why I’m so passionate about what I do.”

Anthony Cornelius will be guest speaker at the Ipswich Central Library Barry Jones Auditorium on Tuesday, 13 March from 10am to 11.30am. For bookings or more information go here.

Always take the weather (and news) with you.

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