UPDATE 4:25PM | THE Bureau of Meteorology says a ‘twister’ which touched down near Brisbane Airport on Friday afternoon was actually a landspout – not a tornado.
Armed with their smartphones, residents filmed the moment the funnel cloud appeared over Viola Place as a thunderstorm moved through the area around 2pm. Scroll down to see the photos and videos.
Jim Richardson from the Bureau of Meteorology told myGC the funnel cloud was not attached to a supercell thunderstorm, therefore making it a landspout and not a tornado.
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“We can’t officially confirm it, but we do have unconfirmed reports indicating that there was a landspout near the Airport, southeast of DFO,” Mr Richardson said.
“This is due to pretty moist low levels, unstable environments and airmass boundaries sort of colliding.
“That created a rapidly developing, brief storm and associated landspout and this is very localised, very short-lived activity.”
Photos and videos of the weather phenomenon were quick to emerge online.
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“We use the word tornado in association with supercells which are a large scale, very organised, very long-lasting storm, which is not what we have seen in this case,” Mr Richardson said.
“Whereas landspouts are smaller scale due to mainly high levels of moisture and high instability, so it doesn’t have that organised regime that you would see with a tornado.”
Mr Richardson said the weather bureau had received numerous reports of tree and roof damage in the area.
There have been no reports of any injuries.
EARLIER 2:30PM | PHOTOS and videos have emerged online of what appears to be a tornado touching down near Brisbane Airport.
Reports are emerging of trees being snapped in half and cars being damaged by debris around Viola Place.
A photo posted to Facebook by Matt Houston shows what appears to be a funnel cloud attached to a thunderstorm which ripped through Brisbane around 2pm.
Several videos emerged online moments later, purportedly showing what was left of the twister after it broke apart.
WARNING: Video contains coarse language.
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Jolie Beitzel filmed the moment the rotation is first thought to have made contact with the ground.
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Brisbane Airport took to twitter with incredible CCTV footage of what they say was a “dust devil”.
“We just had a ‘Dust Devil’ roll through BNE. No damage, just soil & leaves on apron. A spectacular site nonetheless,” the Airport tweeted.
— Brisbane Airport ✈️ (@BrisbaneAirport) March 17, 2017
Higgins Storm Chasing said the “dust devil” was “attached to a supercell thunderstorm”, making it a tornado.
Although neither video actually shows the twister touching down in full, Higgins Storm Chasing said it was still likely to have caused “damaging to locally destructive” winds.
“A supercell has been detected over Moreton Bay and has produced a tornado near Brisbane Airport,” Higgins Storm Chasing said on Facebook.
“Damaging to locally destructive winds are possible with this cell across the Bay as it tracks towards Moreton Island.
“A line of storms located near Ipswich and Jimboomba is showing signs of producing damaging winds and heavy rain.
“This line is blowing towards the North Gold Coast, Brisbane and Northern Brisbane suburbs.
“There is the possibility of more spin ups / funnels / supercell activity embedded within this line as it interacts with the same environment as the previous cell.”
No severe thunderstorm warning was current at the time the funnel cloud appeared over Brisbane Airport.
The Bureau of Meteorology is yet to confirm the reports.
This is a developing story. We will have more information as soon as it becomes available.