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1384.6 - Statistics - Tasmania, 2006  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 22/04/2004   
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Contents >> Climate >> Thunderstorms and hail


Thunderstorms may occur throughout Tasmania, but are more common in the west and north of the state. Accurate statistics are difficult to accumulate because of the short duration and local nature of thunderstorms, but the available information suggests that the number per year at any location in Tasmania is lower than 10. Severe thunderstorms (those thunderstorms producing wind gusts greater than 90 km/h, tornadoes, large hail or flash flooding) are much less frequent again. Recent notable severe thunderstorms include the:

  • Pyengana storm of 9 December 1985, when rainfall rates in excess of 120 mm/h caused flash flooding.
  • Smithton tornado of 22 November 1992, when wind speeds estimated to have reached 280 km/h caused damage to 13 homes and left a trail of destruction 14 kilometres long.


Small hail, less than a couple of millimetres in width, may occur in showers that develop in cold air, but larger hail is associated only with thunderstorms. The far south-west of Tasmania has the highest number of days of hail occurrence recorded in Australia; most of this is showers of small (non-thunderstorm) hail.

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