Turbulence ahead: Tornado part of storm cell that slams into Brisbane Airport

A weak tornado or waterspout has touched down near Brisbane Airport, with winds sending catering pods tumbling across the tarmac as storms continue to stalk south-east Queensland.

Oct 22, 2021, updated Oct 22, 2021
Image: Brisbane Airport webcam

Image: Brisbane Airport webcam

The storm, which dumped more than 100mm of rain in less than an hour, disrupted flights and caused some damage at the airport.

It hit about 10am on Friday, with video footage taken at the airport showing catering pods being blown around on the tarmac near a boarding gate.

The wild weather caused water leaks at the domestic terminal, but most of the damage was around the international terminal.

“Some roofing panels and awnings and flashings have come off the terminal and some of the surrounds,” a Brisbane Airport Corporation spokesperson said.

“On the walkway between the terminal and the air train, some of the roofing has popped out.”

The supercell storm grounded planes and prevented landings for about an hour from 10am. Some services were delayed by up to two hours but things have now returned to normal.

Severe storms were on the march again on Friday afternoon, with three bearing down on Noosa, Gympie and the Sunshine Coast hinterland. A storm classed as “very dangerous” was due to hit the area around Conondale, Kenilworth and Imbil soon after 4pm.

The Bureau of Meteorology said damaging, locally destructive winds, large – possibly giant – hailstones and heavy rainfall that may lead to flash flooding were likely.

The airport twister is the fourth tornado recorded in Queensland in a week of volatile weather patterns and intense storms.

No injuries were reported.

Helen Kirkup, from the Bureau of Meteorology, said there was either “a weak tornado or a water spout” in the vicinity of the airport.

The wild weather is not over yet, with more storms expected in southeast Queensland throughout Friday afternoon and into Saturday.

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