DANGEROUS SHOT: Yesterday's storm destroyed properties and wreaked havoc across the Gympie region.
DANGEROUS SHOT: Yesterday's storm destroyed properties and wreaked havoc across the Gympie region.

Expert reveals: Why yesterday's supercell was so destructive

A METEREOLOGIST has explained the reason behind the supercell that tore through South-east Queensland yesterday afternoon.

Weatherwatch expert Anthony Cornelius said multiple supercells tracked across the Darling Downs and Wide Bay Burnett district producing destructive winds, tennis sized hail and even tornados.

A map explaining what caused the supercell to form that tore through the Gympie region yesterday.
A map explaining what caused the supercell to form that tore through the Gympie region yesterday. Anthony Cornelius

"Yesterday was a very significant "ridge cradled trough” set-up, these are the most volatile storm set-ups in Queensland hands down,” Mr Cornelius said.

"Whenever these set-ups occur they nearly always produce destructive supercells. There are two big factors these set-ups generate.

A map explaining what caused the supercell to form that tore through the Gympie region yesterday.
A map explaining what caused the supercell to form that tore through the Gympie region yesterday. Anthony Cornelius

"Increased instability from the introduction of low level moisture mixing in with the hotter air ahead of the change (note most storms develop behind the southeast change in these set-ups which is different to most other storm set-ups).

"Increased shear from the strong E to NE winds (the trough that is cradled by the ridge tilts the winds E to NE, even though the airmass is coming from the SE, this enhances low level shear).

A map explaining what caused the supercell to form that tore through the Gympie region yesterday.
A map explaining what caused the supercell to form that tore through the Gympie region yesterday. Anthony Cornelius

"The increased instability allows for large thunderstorms to develop. The increased wind shear allows for thunderstorms to become organised and develop into supercells which are more likely to be destructive.”