Geography lessons

Severe Storms

Severe storms are Australia’s most common natural disaster and result in more property damage than cyclones, bushfires or earthquakes.  Severe storms are estimated to cost Australian around $284 million per annum.  The Sydney hailstorm of 1999 caused damage of over $2 billion.

Storms develop when warm, moist air rises rapidly in an unstable atmosphere.  This uplift of warm air is usually initiated by the passage of a cold front .  Lightning, flashfoods, hail and wind-gusts cause property damage, injury and even death.  On average, severe storms kill between 5 and 10 people per year, as a result of lightning strikes or fallen debris including trees, power lines.


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